Top Ten Tuesday- Books as Movies

This week the Broke and the Bookish are asking us what our top ten movie adaptations are (for better or worse). 

Here are two general theories I have that both have considerable exceptions:

1. Slightly crappy books tend to make better movies (see 2, 5, and 6)
2. The less I like a book the less I care if the movie adaptation screws with the plot and characters

Two other preliminary theories still in the works:

1. Movies with Karen O songs are good.
2. Movies starring Jennifer Lawrence are good.

One theory based on no solid evidence whatsover:
1. A movie with a Karen O soundtrack and starring Jennifer Lawrence would probably be spectacular. 


Done Well

1. Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
I had some serious doubts before seeing this movie. How would Maurice Sendak's children's masterpiece be turned into a full-length feature film? Turns out Spike Jonze (and Dave Eggars, who co-wrote the screenplay) did a great job filling in between the lines (ps: watch this video of Christopher Walken reading and improvising the book).

2. Silver Linings Playbook
by Matthew Quick
This is one of the few books that I read after I saw the movie and thought that it did an even better job of developing the characters and the plot than the actual novel.

3. Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare
I saw the newest version directed by Joss Whedon last month and felt he did a great job of capturing The Bard's tongue-in-cheek tone and staying true to the dialogue.

4. The Harry Potter Series
by JK Rowling
I have only seen a few of the movies, but I thought the ones that I have seen captured the overall story well. Obviously the books are incredibly long so things must be out, but the directors did a decent job picking and choosing. (Shameless ploy: read my recent post about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter here).

5. The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Honestly, I didn't care for the series or the movie, but I do have to say that the film was completely on par with the novel (another Jennifer Lawrence movie!).
6. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
This is another book that I wasn't in love with, but I thought the movie (albeit there were definitely changes) wasn't bad at all. The opening with the Trent Reznor and Karen O song was good enough for me. 

7. To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
This is one of the few movies I've ever shown to my high school students. While it is unfortunately in black and white (minus fifteen cultural points for Christine for liking color), it does hone in on the essence of Lee's story.

Done Shittily

8. The Hours
by Michael Cunningham
I really hate this movie- the tone of Cunningham's writing is poorly replicated and was completely over-acted. Things were added, things were taken out... it just wasn't right.
9. Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
What a nonsensical, disappointing clusterfuck. 
10. The Great Gatsby (the most recent)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
What a nonsensical, disappointing clusterfuck.

Got some good ones? Some bad ones?


  1. Are you referring to the 2013 version for #10? Been hearing good reviews about it so I'm curious (I've been 50/50 on it...I'd get excited about it at times and then I'd be like -_- because I'm a little skeptical about some of the cast, lol).

    I really want to see Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing xD

    My TTT

    1. Good catch- I just edited it to clarify. Yup, 2013... it was a mess. Albeit a visually stunning mess, but still a mess.

  2. Love 4, 5 and 7.
    Haven't read Cloud Atlas...but yeah the movie was nonsensical.

  3. I have a feeling you are not a Jodi Picoult fan, but I have a pretty strong emotional attachment to her book "My Sister's Keeper." I was devastated by that movie. The casting, changing the was just awful.

    I also remember being super annoyed with "Where the Heart Is" (starring Natalie Portman. I was a teenager when I read/saw the movie and I was beside myself that they changed the characters "unlucky" number from 5 to 7.

    I need to watch Cloud Atlas. I've been curious how it translated to a movie.

  4. I agree with your first theory.

    Whip It was much better than Derby Girl (its book counterpart). And the book Legally Blonde is based on (Legally Blonde, natch) is terrible.

  5. The trailer for Where the Wild Things Are is wonderful! Much Ado About Nothing also looks good. I watched one of the older versions back in High School and was pleasantly surprised that I managed to understand some of the humour.

  6. I totally forgot about the movie adaption of The Hours until just now! I adored the novel, and obviously thought the movie version was forgettable ;)

  7. Great list! Loved Where the Wild Things are-kids not so much-whatever.
    Havent seen the new Gatsby- was once again caught up in the hope that they would finally make a great movie out of a great book in my lifetime-guess not.