Friday, March 9, 2012

Books to Film - Your Likes and Dislikes

With The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins coming to the big screen soon and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax taking the top spot at the box office last weekend, my mind has been on books turned into film lately.

My ten-year-old daughter and I are eager to see, The Hunger Games. Actually, she's eager to see it. I want to see what they've done to it. Most times I think the book is better than the movie, and usually, if I can't get into the book, the movie doesn't float my boat either.

I watched Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea on PBS prior to reading the eight-book series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The first time I read the Anne of Green Gables series, I skipped nothing, even the long descriptions. While I loved the books, I found the first two movies more enjoyable than the books they were based upon.

The relationship between Anne and widower Morgan Harris in the movies was a fabulous storyline, and helped make Anne realize what--and who--she really wanted in life. SPOILER: I have to admit, though, that I wish Gilbert hadn't been engaged to Christine Stewart in the movie and broken it off when he came to terms with the fact that he would never love anyone but Anne. This doesn't happen in the books. Yes, he knows Christine Stewart, but there is no romantic involvement between them.

I wasn't thrilled with Anne of Green Gables - The Continuing Story, and I haven't watched Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning. I might make the fourth Anne movie part of my collection, but without Megan Follows, and with the character of Gilbert deceased, it won't hold the same charm for me.

As many of you know, the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of my favorites. For a long time, I read this series annually, just like my Anne of Green Gables books. And, just like with Anne of Green Gables, it was the film version of these books I came to know first.

Little House on the Prairie, which starred Melissa Gilbert and the late Michael Landon, was based upon Wilder's classic children's series. Landon felt he must create storylines unique from the books in order to have enough material for a show; something that put him at odds with producer Ed Friendly.

There are usually two camps of Laura fans: those who love the show and those who refuse to watch it. I see the books and the shows and movies based upon the Little House series as different ways to honor Wilder's legacy. I enjoy them equally.

The Stand by Stephen King is my favorite book. I was a bit hesitant to watch the TV movie because so many of his books don't do well on film. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It helps I love the work of Gary Sinise. Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe also did a superb job. While there were noticeable changes made for the movie, they flowed well.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to be a great American novel. I was forced to read it in high school, and then had to suffer through a movie that not even Robert Redford's famous eyes could make me like. I still don't know why it appeals to people. Feel free to enlighten me.

Are you eager to see The Hunger Games? Have you seen Dr. Seuss' The Lorax yet? I hope you'll share some of your likes and dislikes when it comes to books made into movies.

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