Friday, June 1, 2007

Call me Benedict

No, not the Pope, the traitor. Not only do I read and write women's fiction but I'll admit it. I also happen to enjoy watching a good chick flick from time to time. You know that is much harder to admit than the bent of my writing. Now I did say A GOOD CHICK FLICK.

I've seen some bad ones, with more sap than a syrup far,. Are they called farms, or orchards or what? Sorry we don't have many Maple trees down Texas way. Anyway I don't like any story, on the bi,g screen, little screen, or the page, that interject tears, and drama just for the sake. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I LIKE CHARACTERS. Make me feel as if I know them and I'll follow them to hell and back.

Why Am I droning on about this? Last night my wife and I plunked down the four bucks to order The Holiday on Pay-Per-View. I got into this movie. they way Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz's characters intertwined. Like all movies I would have liked more - internal thought, background, character development -- but I understand you can't do a lot of this on the big screen, which is exactly why books are better.

In the next day or so I'm going to spring for another PPV movie, Little Children. I've heard mixed reviews for the movie but I loved the novel. Tom Perrotta is one of my favorite authors. Speaking of which I wonder when his next one is due. It has been a while. Okay, I just checked out his website and he has a new novel titled The Abstinence Teacher due in the Fall. Another of my favorites Richard Russo also has a new novel coming out in October, The Bridge of Sighs. I love that title as I'm sure I will the book.

So in the spirit of this post I'm going to post a few questions. What is you favorite movie adaptation of a book? I can think of a couple that i actually think turned out better than the book. And what is the worst Hollywood hack job you've ever seen done to a novel?


Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Woo, spooky, Travis. I posted a very similar thread on my publisher's marketplace page about books being adapted into movies!

I saw Little Children, by the way and liked it a lot--though I did not yet read it (I read Election and loved it and thought the movie was very true to the book for the most part, at least in style)...If you want a fairly textured "chick lit" movie based on a good "chick lit" book see: "In her Shoes" also starring cameron diaz (tho I don't really like her)...

Travis Erwin said...

I ahve seen In ehr shoes and read all but the latest of Jennifer Weiner's novels. I thought that movie did a great job of casting.

Sometimes that is my greatest beef with a movie. Liek the HBO mini-series of Empire Falls. I like Ed Harris but he was all wrong for The role as Myles. That alone jaded me against the movie.

alex keto said...

Hey "Eggs" Benedict,
What is Women's Fiction? Obviously a good blog item.

I thought I knew and mentioned some points to a sister-in-law and she told me I was full of it.
Then again, she tells me I am full of it every time I open my mouth, and sometimes when I am just sitting there just so she can keep in practice.

Anonymous said...

For me, the best movie adaptation of a book is The Hours. I love the movie, the book, but the movie was fantastic. Maybe it was the soundtrack that I was attracted to that threw me over the edge.

I have to agree that In Her Shoes was also great. But chic flick wise, I also have to say that I really really enjoyed the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Fabulous and almost word for word.


WordVixen said...

Best- Narnia. Not so much that it was the best movie, but it was the most accurate book to movie translation that I've seen.

Worst- Eragon. Ok, his writing wasn't the smoothest, but it was a good read (if you could get past all the "then"'s and merely found all of the obvious rip-off's amusing because you knew who he was ripping off). The movie was crap, and no where near the story line.

Movie better than book- Bridget Jones. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book. However, the movie was way better IMHO.

I've read In Her Shoes, but not seen the movie yet. Glad you posted about The Holiday. I've been wanting to see it, but wasn't sure if it would be good enough to justify the cost.

Travis Erwin said...

Guess I should weigh in here since I asked the question.

Forest Gump made a much better movie than book and I agree with WordVixen about Narnia.

I think Hollywood did a goo djob with Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool. Paul Newman was perfect for that role. An Unfinished Life was also well done although J Lo wasn't right for the part. Morgan Freeman however was exactly who I imagined as I read.

I know I'm in the minority but I hated the film ending of The Horse Whisperer. Eragon was an awful movie, and I thought the first Ahrry Potter movie was rahter bland in comparison to the book. Prisoner of Azkaban still ranks as the best movie adaptaion of the series in my mind.

Travis Erwin said...

Hey Alex, Glad to se eyou joining the fun here. Are you going to start blogging via blogger?

I think I'll use your question as a blog topic. Possibly l;ater today even, but if ot it will be a few days since numero three of The Feedstore Chronicles is on tap for tomorrow.

Patti said...

worst: prince of tides

best: it's a thinker...

alex keto said...

Hey Travis,
I am embarrassed to say I tried to publish some comments before but the google instructions were just too difficult for me the first four times I around.
I'd like to say I'm a techno-phobe but there's plenty of evidence of weak-mindedness in other parts of my life as well.
Anyway, off hand, since you specialize in Woman's Fiction, I can't think of anyone more qualified to try to define it.

Which brings up the whole labeling issue in general, by the way.


Lexi said...

It was a TV adaptation, but I think Hallmark did an injustice to Julie Garwood's "For the Roses." (At least I think that was the title.)

Anonymous said...

"In her shoes"...that was a pretty good movie. I like Cameron Diaz she is a pretty girl. I really like Weiner's books. My husband made me watch "Empire Falls" the movie. I read the book afterwards...the movie was terrible. I liked the priest in the book...funny stuff. "An unfinished Life" was a really good book made me cry. JLO was not a well thought out plan. I just do not see her at a rodeo.

Eggs Benedict...More like Benedictine liquor

Travis Erwin said...

I've never tried any Benedictine Liquor but I've wanted to ever since I Charlie Robison mentioned it in one of his songs.

Just A Girl In GA said...

I had a rule that I must read the book first before seeing the movie. I loved The Devil Wears Prada, both the book and the movie. The Nanny Diaries is supposed to be released in September and I cannot wait - loved the book and cannot wait for the movie.

janeylynne said...

I know I'm waaaaay late on this comment, but I had to give you a "WORD!!" on the worst adaptation being "The Horse Whisperer". How on EARTH could they do that to the book? The whole spirit of it was lost...and I can't stand Kristen Scott Thomas. I did not like her in that role at ALL. Although, the "Count of Monte Cristo" with Guy Pearce was tres horrible as well. My hubby and I both read the book and were psyched to watch the movie and it was a load of CRAP! Turned it off after 15 minutes.

Best: High Fidelity. Absolutely LOVED the book and ADORED the movie. Of course, it was John Cusack, so that did sway me a little...*sigh*

BTW--Found you from Nello...nice blog...excellent topic.