Friday, February 26, 2010


Lindsay (my 7 year old) has really gotten into reading chapter books this year, and the books she brings home from the library each week have gradually increased in difficulty. It's been interesting to see them change, how she use to have to have pictures with the words but now the words far outnumber the pictures. A couple weeks ago she brought home the first two books in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" books by Lemony Snicket. I must admit I wasn't entirely enthused about it, after seeing the movie with Jim Carrey back when I came out, I just didn't like the story much. But, each to his own, my daughter doesn't necessarily have my same tastes, so I let it be. I was intrigued to find out that the stories "covered" in the movie actually entail the first three books of the series. I told her that there was a movie and showed her the preview via Netflix. Her face lit up and she asked if we could please get it. So I clicked it into our queue and then bumped to the the top and  it arrived safely in our mailbox yesterday afternoon. Good thing it was an early out day, because she wanted to watch it after school. Homework was done and so I plugged it in. I watched about the first 20 minutes with the girls (during which Lindsay 'did my hair'. I enjoy the combing part, it so relaxing, but her pony-tailing skills need some practice). It was interesting to watch Lindsay's reaction to the movie and how it didn't quite follow the book. I couldn't tell if she was more surprised or disappointed about it. And that is when I shared with her the oh-so-horrible truth of life: Movies never perfectly follow the books they are based on and, in fact, are almost always never as good.

Now, that, is most unfortunate, but oh so true! I can't tell you how many times I've been excited to see a movie based on a book I've read and enjoyed, only to come away from it dissappointed. For some reason the characters are never as I pictured them or the small nuances of the plot that I so enjoyed, for the sake of the movie are completely left out. I should probably learn my lesson by now, but I haven't. I am always eager to see a book made into a movie, for some reason or another. Sometimes it is to refresh my memory of what happened in the book. Sometimes its because I enjoyed the book so much I can't wait for more of it, even in movie form. I tell myself every time that the book is always better, but I still end up having some sort of expectation for the movie. Like, recently I saw "My Sister's Keeper". It's been a long time since I read the book but I know the ending in the movie was different, and it was disappointing. Or how some of the sub-plots in the Harry Potter books aren't even talked about in the movies--even though I know its for the sake of time, (I mean the movies are already soooooo long, if you added everything from the book you'd be in the theater all day) I still feel almost cheated. And don't even get me started on the movies coming out now based on Stephenie Meyer's books and how there is stuff in the first movie that didn't even happen in the book or how neither James P or Kristen S look anything like the characters they play. Ugh.

Yeah, so unfortunate. Maybe I should just stick with the written word....

How about you? What has been your most disappointing book to movie experience?


  1. Just about every one. I don't think there's a single book that I've seen the movie for that I wasn't disappointed in to some extent. Except maybe The Firm. That was a terrific movie, thanks to Jack Nicholson!

  2. Harry Potter - I hated how much they had to leave out. Especially book 3, which was my favorite.


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