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Which Books Should Never Have Been Made Into Movies?

I read Alice Sebold's tragic novel The Lovely Bones when it came out in 2002 and loved it; so why was I so nervous to hear that Peter Jackson was adapting the book into a movie two years ago? I didn't know how the central act — Susie Salmon's rape and murder — would be handled onscreen.

The film is being released tomorrow and it sounds like my fears might have been justified — some early reviews complain that the central crimes have been toned down for the film version. It's not that I want to see these graphic scenes, but it seems wrong to neglect the horrific events the book hinges on. In fact, I would just as well have not seen this novel adapted at all given the highly sensitive subject matter.

This happens a lot — we all have gripes about filmmakers changing aspects of books for their cinematic counterparts, but what about when it's not just an aspect — what about entire books that should have never made it to the big screen? It's hard cramming hundreds of pages into two hours; it's even more difficult translating certain aspects that may only work on the page. In recent years, the adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Time Traveler's Wife disappointed me so much. It wasn't that I thought the films could have been different, it's that I thought that perhaps they never should have been turned into movies at all. Tell me: are there any books that you thought should never have been adapted?

Join The Conversation
iloveogres520 iloveogres520 7 years
I know I'm going to sound sily saying this but I really think The Princess Diaries should have never been brought onto the big screen, especially since they didn't follow the book at all. I grew up reading them and the movies almost kept me from admitting I had read them...
emmaxoxo emmaxoxo 7 years
okay Gossip Girl (nice plot line on TV, but DRASTICALLY changed from the books) Twilight (that was crap anyway, the shouldn't have waisted the money) Harry Potter (not enough time to get the details) Pride and Prejudice (movie didnt follow the story line, but was really good) Sister Hood of the Travelling Pants (they changed half of the story lines)
db849 db849 7 years
Ugh...The Nanny Diaries was an awful movie based off of a book.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
spoiler alert. i had no idea she was raped.
becky1245 becky1245 7 years
This is really a different thing but I recently read the book The Lost Daughter by Daralyse Lyons and was hooked from the first page. It is such a rich novel with both plot and character appeal and I wonder if it'll get picked up and optioned for a movie. I hope so!!! Read it. Tell everyone you know about it. Let's get it made into a movie so we can then compare the director's lack of genius with the writers substantial talent. Seriously, this is my new favorite novel and a must read!
db849 db849 7 years
Some good ones that I'm okay with: Jane Eyre, Rebecca (but the book is waaay better), Of Mice and Men, Dangerous Liaisons was excellent along w/ Cruel Intentions, Hamlet (only the Brannagh version), Ordinary People, Some not-so good ones: A Walk to Remember (although a good film version, I STILL can't get over the fact that the in the movie- Landon took off his wedding ring), Memoirs of a Geisha, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopgirl, and I KNOW there are others, but I can't recall them at the moment.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 7 years
Silence of the Lambs Choke Alice In Wonderland (or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) The Grinch Cat in the hat Where the Wild Things Are Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (I have a list of fiction adults books to long to list here) Any book meant to encourage children to read the some dumb greedy Studio Exec decides would make loads of money because "kids don't like to read". However on the flipside - so glad and I love that adaptation of FIGHT CLUB. I love the book so much and even though the book and the movie differ in how they reach their climax I love the movie so very much too. I even love the Harry Potter films not the adaptations but the amazing caliber of actors that they've attracted and I love watching the lead actors grow up on screen. Rupert Grint! Rupert Grint!
jadenirvana jadenirvana 7 years
Haha! Funny quote!
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 7 years
Im with everyone on the My Sisters Kepper..I have never been so mad at a movie in my LIFE! xxstar..dont even bother renting it, it will only make you angry
ebevier ebevier 7 years
The Golden Compass. They explained things you weren't supposed to know until later books in the series and it was just overall a horrible and poorly put-together adaptation of the book.
lemuse20 lemuse20 7 years
Disagree with #11. The made-into-a-movie 'Walk To Remember' by Nicholas Sparks' was awesome, and I think Dear John will be good too. Any SP book made into a movie has been good IMO.
tiff58 tiff58 7 years
I agree re: Memoirs of a Geisha. The book was amazing, and the movie was...not. Also, Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood. They did not go into so many things that were important in the book.
TidalWave TidalWave 7 years
I haven't watched Precious yet, but I do not think that Push should have been turned into a movie at all!
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
They changed the ending of My Sister's Keeper?! I never got a chance to see the film because my mom and I never got our work schedules in sync, but I LOVE the book. Now I definitely won't even rent it .. The Harry Potter books, too - most of them I like in film, and understand that most of the changes made are simple because of time constraints. What irks me is that they complain about time constraints and then add things IN that never happened (burning down the Burrow in the 6th movie?! what?!) However, I think that I'll definitely give the Lovely Bones a try based on the fact that I have a lot of faith in Peter Jackson. I've been an avid Tolkien fan since I was a little kid (I'm one of those crazy people who read all the appendices, and slogged through the Silmarillion even though it reads like a dictionary), and he managed to do what I felt was a very good job. While obviously, a good deal of the trilogy had to be left out, he really captured what was important - the emotion and the meaning behind the storyline. When my biggest complaint was talking some of Merry's lines and giving them to Frodo, that's not too bad. Let's hope he does live up to my expectations.
shafiii shafiii 7 years
I agree with the first comment. Changing of My Sister's Keeper's ending ruined the book for me. The Harry Potter books are done mostly well since it is understandable that they have to leave parts out, but i wish some of their focus would change and stop being so commercialized. The only book I think that was actually adapted well was The Kite Runner.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
Agree with Redchick! I'll take every chance I have to complain about A Walk to Remember. The best part of that book was the narration which, by necessity you always lose a lot of when the book's brought to the big screen. But the whole movie disappointed me. It was so different from the book that they wouldn't even get sued for copyright infringement if they decided not to pay Sparks.
glynislily glynislily 7 years
Brave New World should have never been a film. It's such a great book with so many layers it will never work on screen and the fact that they are trying yet again makes me really mad. I don't care how good the director is I just don't see the story fitting into a nice 2 hour package or even 3 hours. I have a long list of books that are not movies and should never be, but I am looking forward to Lovely Bones. I think that downplaying the crime is not that significant because to me the book was about the family and her experiencing it on the outside.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
as for the lovely bones, the rape and murder scene is not supposed to be focus of the book, and i am glad that Jackson didnt hype it up for the sake of sensationalizing it for a movie.
McRiguez McRiguez 7 years
For me, p.s. I love you was completely ruined. It was almost an entirely different movie from the book, just the same idea. If I'd been the author, I would have cried plagiarism it was so similar. I thought it was a fantastic book and would have made a cute indie film, but alas, Hollywood had to go and ruin it. I have yet to see The Time Traveler's Wife, but I'm a bit curious as to how they do it. I think I will see Lovely Bones, even though I loved the book so much, because again, I'm curious and I do like the actors...Books like that, just make me curious about how it could be portrayed on the big screen.
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