#119 – Finding Out A Book You Enjoyed Is Being Made Into A Movie

Now, I know a bunch of you big readers out there are going to disagree with this one right off the bat. I’ll address the movie vs. book thing in a minute, but for now, let’s just concentrate on the feeling of finding out this news.

For me, most recently it was that Adam Sandler is starring in an adaptation of Chad Kultgen’s “Men, Women and Children”. I’ve read a few of his books, enjoyed each of them easily and plentifully, so this was welcome news. Same too for the Jason Batemen, Tina Fey-driven “This Is Where I Leave You” vehicle, adopted from Jonathan Tropper’s novel.

I suppose the enjoyment stems from getting to see what some of my, in these cases, favorite actors, actresses and writers have collaborated on and how they will interpret something I’ve already interpreted. Who will play who? What scenes will be kept in, which will be cut? Will it play out as it had in the mental movie I’d created while reading the book? And, of course, will it be better or worse, in the end, than the movie?

That last question is a tough one. First off, it’s almost taboo to say “I actually liked the movie better than the book!” It’s as if it’s culturally frowned upon to admit that you enjoyed a fun, flimsy film over the slaved-over, 300-page hard copy. Secondly, it is true that most often, the movie isn’t better than the book—but that’s not for the reason you’d think. It’s because when we read books and then see the movies made of them, we go in with such an attachment to the book that it’s almost impossible for the film to live up to it. I’ve decided that there’s really no point in even comparing the book and the movie. They’re separate entities in completely separate mediums made for separate reasons (specifically, not generally). One does not effect the other and we should enjoy them as such.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Having your expectations crushed by a great trailer for one of these movies, only to find out it was a borefest. I’m speaking hypothetically, of course.

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