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What Book-to-Movie Changes Have Bugged You?


In adapting a book for the big screen, adjustments are obviously necessary and often understandable — except when they're quite frustrating. Earlier this year the news came out that the My Sister's Keeper filmmakers were changing the end of the story for the film version, causing a bit of apprehension for fans of the Jodi Picoult novel. In my opinion, the change made sense for the film, but I also understand the loyalty people feel toward the source material.

Today there's more casting news for the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love (Billy Crudup will play Gilbert's husband) and the description of this character doesn't quite mesh with my memory of the book. Here's more:

Crudup will play Steven, who is married to Gilbert ([Julia] Roberts). His hopes to have children are dashed when her quest to get pregnant leaves her feeling she is not living the life she wants. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery around the world.

Granted, it's been a while since I read Eat Pray Love, but that's not how I remember her husband. I'd wondered if they'd include much of Gilbert's husband at all in the film, and I certainly didn't think he'd be painted as such a heartbroken victim. From reading the book, I didn't get the sense that he was much of a victim at all and it seems more than a little unfair to say that Gilbert "dashed his hopes" by wanting to do something for herself. Perhaps it's just an issue of wording within the news article, but it annoys me nonetheless.

Are there changes in film adaptations that have irritated you?

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Join The Conversation
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
"Gone with the Wind. There's entire characters missing from that movie. Granted, it's still one of my favorite movies, but it can't even compare to the book." I was going to say pretty much the same exact thing. I love both. The book is one of my favorites, and the movie is one of my favorites. However, the movie just isn't the same.
cherriej cherriej 8 years
Thank Your For Smoking by Christopher Buckley -- I read this book when it first came out and it's a very good satire, but the character of Nick in the book is a basically good guy who is very conflicted about his work. This wasn't what he wanted to do but after an BIG BIG GOOF-UP in his early career, he pretty much couldn't work in journalism any more. I hated how in the movie they made his character sleazy. In the book, he doesn't "relish" his job and feels a great deal of guilt over it. The only way he justifies it to himself is that he's doing it "to pay the mortgage".
syako syako 8 years
lilk, I know what you mean and I'd probably do the same thing (go see it and be pissed afterward). It's a 1,000 page book, how can that possibly become a screenplay? We just need some original ideas out there. Why must we convert every book into film. It's not necessary. Come up with your own plots! :)
bvfashion bvfashion 8 years
The Harry Potter movies always annoy me, especially the Half Blood Prince. They cut out so much important stuff, and added random scenes, I was really disappointed. The Lord of the Rings movies cut out some things, but all in all I thought the adaption was successful. I realize they couldn't put everything in, and I think they put in as much as they could; I love the movies as much as the books.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I agree with what a lot of others have said. Movies are typically not as enjoyable and thorough as books. However, like Mich, I enjoyed Fried Green Tomatoes. I also enjoyed The Great Gatsby. The films didn't compare to the books, but they were good. I keep hearing rumblings of an Atlas Shrugged movie. I just have to say, there is no way they could ever make a movie that incorporates all of the important aspects and details of that book. But, if one were ever made, I would probably feel compelled to see it, then I would be mad at myself because there's no way it could stack up!
jlr32phl jlr32phl 8 years
definitely angles and demons! they completely eliminated several characters from the book, and kept alive characters who were supposed to die. plus they completely glazed over the whole science-religion debate that was constantly addressed in the book which is what i found so interesting about it in the first place! i understand they wanted to make a movie that people who didn't read the book could actually follow, but they didn't need to "dumb it down" so severely.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Every time you bring up a question like this it gives me a chance to rant about A Walk to Remember, but seriously the only thing they kept the same in that movie was the names of the characters. -the book is set in the 50s, the movie is set in the present -Landon isn't supposed to be such a malcontent, he's supposed to be an average kid -The book never says if or when Jamie dies. Though it is heavily foreshadowed, it's left up to the reader to decide. GRRR!!
le-romantique le-romantique 8 years
"Running With Scissors" the movie was the worst i have ever seen... ever, and it actually ruined the book for me, I doubt i'd be able to read it again.
michnz michnz 8 years
i agree with Angels and Demons. The last half of the movie was nothing like the book.
boredgourdless boredgourdless 8 years
The worst adaptation ever has to go to Clan of the Cave Bear, IMHO. I was also very disappointed with Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I think the character got stripped down for cheap laughs. Oh well. I probably won't see My Sister's Keeper, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around Eat Pray Love as a movie. Best of luck on that!
merie33 merie33 8 years
Gone with the Wind. There's entire characters missing from that movie. Granted, it's still one of my favorite movies, but it can't even compare to the book.
giraffic giraffic 8 years
agreed with #22;; how in the world are they going to fix that in the 7th movie? gah, there should be a law banning the making of movies based off of books.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I actually thought Fried Green Tomatoes was a wonderful book to movie adaptation. They left out some of my favorite parts, but the movie was still great.
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
I echo everyone on the Time Travelers Wife... the book was amazing, there is no way the movie can be as good. I also thought About a Boy was a bad adaptation, I love the movie for itself but it doesn't connect the way the book does so I have to seperate them. Maybe thats what Ill do with the Time Travelers Wife.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
My husband and I both felt like they completely massacred the film translation of Angels & Demons. There were so many changes! I also don't understand why the Bridget Jones movies are nothing like the books that they're supposedly based on. They're hilarious books that are completely rewritten for the movies. I'm debating about re-reading Time Traveler's Wife before the movie comes out. I loved the book but I don't want to be let down by the changes that are inevitably in the movie.
caty1221 caty1221 8 years
Sarana, I completely agree. I think a lot of people have high expectations for film adaptations when they really just need to separate the two. The films are the films and the books are the books. the books will always be better. like with harry potter, if i want all the details i'll read the books again... if i want the story in a nutshell i'll watch the movies.
Sarana Sarana 8 years
Most films are not as good as the book, I've stopped expecting them to be. I still love it when they make a film of a book, I just try to lower my expectations. I think it also helps to not watch the film directly after reading the book.
Zelle Zelle 8 years
I'm glad someone said Memoirs of a Geisha - I love that book but the movie was a huge let down. And of course...the HP movies. Enough has been said about that though! Also I hated the Power of One movie... In fact, I'm pretty much always disappointed with how books made in to movies turn out!
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
I don't think I've ever watched a film adaptation that stayed true to the book. You can't really expect it to, but I still get disappointed every time. I agree with all the Harry Potter comments - the movies are not really true to the books, but if they were, the movies would be hours long. Right now, I am not impressed with all the changes to the Twilight movies!
dnye dnye 8 years
when i was like 12 Ella Enchanted was my FAVORITE book I LOVED it and then they made it into a movie and i was really excited. and then the movie was COMPLETELY different than the book like there were no similarities besides her name was Ella. I was really upset.
cg130 cg130 8 years
UGH, I was SO ANGRY that they added that random stupid scene into the HP6 movie - the one where the Weasley's house got set on fire. WTF?
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