Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
So, this week I’m kind of melding two ideas into one since I didn’t have 10 for either, but I wanted to definitely do something with the movies (and shows) that I liked more than the books they were based on. So, basically this is two lists. And I’m sure if I really put a bit more effort into searching through the 1000+ books I’ve read I could find 10 for at least one of these lists, I’d just rather do the top five of both.
Movies / Shows I liked more than the books:
5. Love Simon vs Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I feel like some people might see this as blasphemous, but honestly? I don’t know how anyone could like the book more than the film. Simon just wasn’t as likable in the book. What Nick Robinson managed to do with that character was so much more than the writing in the book ever gave me. And, to be completely fair, I’ve never really cared for Albertalli’s writing anyway since the only other book I’ve read by her was one I didn’t like much. That’s what happens, I suppose, when you don’t really care to read contemporary all that much. Also, Love Simon was just beautifully done and I loved it so much.
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I loved the film. And unfortunately, in the case of this particular novel, I saw the movie first. And I think this is the largest reason why I prefer the movie is simply that it gave me a different connection with the characters. Now, don’t get me wrong. I also love the book. But if I had to choose between reading the book again or watching the film…I’m going to choose the film. And I know that is slightly influenced by the amount of time it takes to get through either, but it is what it is.
3. Just Like Heaven vs. If Only it Were True by Marc Levy
Ugh, there’s so much I couldn’t stand about If Only it Were True by Marc Levy without even comparing it with Just Like Heaven in the first place. But the source material for this phenomenal movie that tugs at my heartstrings every single damn time that I watch it was just so awful. Even just the names make me cringe, improved infinitely when they were changed in the film. Overall, I just didn’t give a damn about a single character in the book. No wonder barely anyone knows about it in the first place. Now, I don’t really like Levy’s writing, either. But I just genuinely do believe the written characters were terrible whereas Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo actually managed to create characters I cared about in every way. I just cannot fathom how the book manages to be as bad as it is.
2. Game of Thrones vs. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
I’m possibly going to get blasted for this, but…the actors do a better job with the characters than Martin does. And, while this can be expected because when you put multiple people into making something as opposed to just one, the likelihood of things improving does increase when the people working on it are brilliant. And this is not to say that the books are bad, in fact they are amazing and massively impressive. But, at the end of the day, I’d still watch the show more than I’d read the book. The dialogue is better, the characters are better, and in general I just enjoy it more. Just take how stupidly dull Bran’s chapters are and you’ll understand why I’d rather watch the show. And this is a rarity for me, honestly, because I love reading. But you know…there are just some things that really grab you more than others and you can’t change that much in the end.
1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Okay, so I don’t want everything to be about romance, but I’m a sucker for a good one and I’m always rather annoyed when bad ones crop up. And really, this is what breaks the novel for me. I couldn’t stand anything about the exceedingly irritating character, Haydée. The fact that she was his slave, the fact that she was his ward, the fact that she fell in love with him and he with her. I cringe just thinking about it. And then the simple fact of the matter that, in the film that I prefer (the version with Richard Harris) she doesn’t exist and Mercédès is more understandable just makes me hate everything to do with their plots in the novel. And I’m probably biased because I love the movie so much, but I don’t know if I’d have loved The Count of Monte Cristo as much if I’d read it first. Sure, I’d still love it, but I’d still have massive issues with the plots surrounding those two characters. Of course, there is a lot to the novel that I really wish had been included in the film that was cut out, like Valentine and Maximilien, for example. But still, I’ll watch the movie repeatedly before rereading the book. And, to be fair, that’s over a thousand pages of reading.
Movies that totally do not exist because they were too terrible:
5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Honestly, Twilight is not and will never be the most amazing thing in the world. It wasn’t so brilliant that a movie made from it would, in turn, also be brilliant. There’s not really a whole lot to complain about when you think about the movie adaptations, because there wasn’t really a lot of amazing in the novel. With that said, the movie in comparison was actually pretty freaking terrible. And while my understanding of coercion (manipulation that forces someone into situations where they unwillingly consent) and sexual assault were significantly minimal when I was younger, as I’ve grown I’m able to recognize the problematic pieces more. Frankly, it still kills me that I loved Jacob Black and yet he sexually assaulted Bella and coerced her into kissing him by threatening suicide all within the span of a single damn book. Ugh. But, ignoring that, Twilight had the problem that Kristin Stewart couldn’t play a character like Bella believably or well and Robert Pattinson hated his character too much to manage a decent job. And things like that can destroy movies. I’m not saying that Twilight deserved better, because it wasn’t amazing enough for that to matter. But the films could have been a little less awful.
4. A Series of Unfortunate Events (the movie, not the show) by Lemony Snicket
I’ll put it simply for you. Jim Carrey was an awful actor in this movie. He not only took over the entire film, but he just did a horrendous job. Add in the fact that the three main characters barely had any lines, the first three books were smooshed together into one, and that the end of the first book ended up being the end of the third when they turned it into a film and I just wanted to shoot myself in the head for even bothering to watch this trash. Thank everything in the world that someone decided to finally right this egregious mistake a short time ago and create the Netflix series because it was done with so much more care and respect and everything about it was better. Honestly, I want to scream when I think about the first attempt at adapting this series into this medium.
3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
I think this is just a clear case of too much getting changed and not enough respect for the source material. Honestly, I don’t remember much about how this one went because I only ever watched it once and I wasn’t exceedingly pissed about it. But I was disappointed and I never even bothered to watch the second one because so much was changed. And, I don’t know….I feel like this has the need to be redone just as A Series of Unfortunate Events was because someone, somewhere can do this series a lot more justice.
2. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Hahaha, I didn’t even watch the final movie (which sucks, because I love Dylan O’Brien) because of how horribly they fucked up with this second one. The sad thing is the fact that the first movie was actually pretty well done. But somehow they completely lost the true nature of the second book and destroyed everything by turning the insane people affected by the flare into zombies. This was never a zombie story, and never should have been turned into a zombie film. The main reason why the people they were running from were so utterly terrifying was because they were still somewhat aware of themselves. I can still, to this day, remember how frightened I was when I read that bit where they were being chased, hid, and then were found. “Hello noses!” And all of that brilliance was eliminated from the film in favor of…zombies. What the actual fuck. Yes, I’m still infuriated by this. And then the way they changed Teresa’s ending was also extremely annoying, though not quite as annoying as the freaking zombies. I cannot.
1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Is anyone surprised by the fact that Eragon is on this list? There’s so much wrong with the film adaptation of the most amazing book of my entire childhood that I don’t even know where to start and couldn’t start without going on for months. I think the most annoying thing they did surrounded Saphira and how completely butchered she was in every single possible way. But, to start with, I’ll just point you to how she got bigger. They tried to squish a massive amount of story into too short of a medium, cut all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons. And, frankly, at the end of the day there’s nothing that could have saved this movie, not even the gorgeousness that was Ed Speleers, Garrett Hedlund, and Christopher Egan. I’m still bitter. This movie does not exist.