I’m a firm believer that the original medium is always the best medium. If a book is turned into a film, there will be something lost in translation, and vice versa. But while it might not always resemble the original story to the letter, I still enjoy many books-turned-films. Here are some of my favorites.
Harry Potter Series:
These got better, once they realized how big the series really was. Am I infuriated at the portrayal of Ginny Weasley, uh ya. But with a few exceptions – SPEW and Harry’s sarcastic retorts among them – I genuinely love this series. The stories are large and expansive, and probably better suited to a television program like Game of Thrones but I’ll swear by them and rewatch them forever.
Pride and Prejudice:
Both of them. I love me some Colin Firth standing in a corner glowering, but I also like not devoting 4 hours of my time to a movie. I think Keira Knightley did a wonderful job of capturing Austen’s essence and it’s so visually beautiful to watch. But also Colin Firth brooding does it for me.
Ten Things I Hate About You:
Let me be frank. I hate Taming of the Shrew. I think the antiquated idea of trying to calm a woman down with marriage – represented in Ten Things I Hate About You as her uppity feminist ideals, is absurd, to put it lightly. But this movie is still the perfect teenage, coming of age rebellion story, and they played off and got rid of a lot of the misogynist nonsense. Plus it’s hilarious. Plus Heath Ledger.
She’s the Man:
I’m going to admit something. I only understood Twelfth Night because I watched this movie a lot growing up. Firstly Amanda Bynes is a remarkable comedian, and Channing Tatum, despite looking way too old to be in high school, does dry comedy well. It’s hilarious, in addition to giving some clarity to the French farce of the original story. It also makes a lot of subtle references to the play.
Okay, it’s a television program and I’m cheating. But honestly, this show is remarkable. The books are thick with content and history and a whole lot of details that don’t make it in, but I don’t envy the person who has to narrow it down. They capture the essence of the story, keep the show active and exciting, and make me want to fall through the stones.
I love books. I love the smell of them, the joy I feel at getting the next one in a beloved series, the way they make me cry and laugh and disappear from the world around. But I admit that there is beauty and humor and fun to be found in remarking them into something new. Books may be my favorite, but I’ll go back to these movies and shows time and again, and that must count for something.
What are your favorite adaptations? Drop a note in the comment section! ♦