March 19, 2012
I am seriously concerned over the unending barrage of hype over the rapidly approaching Hunger Games movie. Yes, I loved that trilogy and read it with a voraciousness rarely seen outside of PMS and a bag of Doritos. However, I can't help but feel that it will never live up to its expectations. Strangely, this had me thinking not about movies that aren't as good as the books that spawned them, but quite the opposite. I started to ponder which movies were actually better than the books on which they were based.
The first one that came to mind was Shrek. That movie was hilarious and launched a new breed of children's movies that had a little "somethin', somethin'" for the adults in the crowd. (For any of you that have had to sit through a movie geared strictly for a five-year old, you know what I'm talking about). Now, if any of you have ever read Shrek by William Stieg, it is a pale comparison to the film. In fact, it's hardly recognizable outside of the fact that Shrek is an ogre. However, the movie had superior entertainment value by far.
Another example (for me, and I know people are going to get mad about this) was Practical Magic. I admit that I watched the movie first and was seduced by beautiful slip dresses and impossibly luxurious hair. But, pound for pound and minute for minute, it was far more entertaining (again, it's just my opinion) than the book (which I did read). I found the book so vastly different than the glossy Bullock/Kidman vehicle that it was off-putting and perplexing. I kept wondering how that movie came from this book.
So, I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered a movie that was better than the book? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear your opinion (because I already know mine).