Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday: Lights! Camera! Action!

Today's Road Trip Wednesday over at YA Highway is about movies: more specifically - What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?

I took all day to think about this. Yeah, really -- I know, I probably should have been writing. But, honestly, I feel like it matters when you say that something written is better when it's not written anymore and is, rather, acted out. I looked at my bookshelves a few times today. I thought about some of my favorite movies and books. Here's what I came up with:

1. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club (the book) is a character piece. In some cases, character-driven books are best as books. For me, Fight club came alive as a movie. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt embody their roles with total commitment and, which the book itself might be a bit more poetic, the movie is a visual masterpiece. I am not going to mention the obvious -- that Brad Pitt is freakin' fine. Okay, there, I mentioned it.

2. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw / My Fair Lady

I know, I know. This is technically a play. I can't help it, though. While the play is phenomenal, I, frankly, wouldn't give two shits about it if it weren't for My Fair Lady. I ADORE this movie. It was my favorite growing up. It's still in my top ten. Rex Harrison is both sexy and loathsome and Audrey Hepburn is, well, Audrey Hepburn. Love Love Love Love.

3. And my tie - my favorite book and my not-quite-but-almost favorite movie

I love this book -- when I'm looking for something to remind me how to craft interesting prose, I always turn to Bram Stoker. He was working the multi-genre angle when the Bronte sisters were still plotting paragraphs. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect from Stoker's female counterparts -- but Stoker knew how to make a book move. Pacing was his forte. Similarly, Coppola's film version is beautifully paced and extremely evocative. Even with Keanu in it.

And, with that, I leave you with a question and a reality. The question - what is your favorite book-to-film adaptation? The reality - Francis Ford Coppola is a total gangsta and he was sexualizing vampires when Stephanie Meyer was still in diapers. ;)


  1. Oh, I love your choice of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady. I adore Audrey Hepburn. I haven't actually read Fight Club, but I have read other Chuck Palahniuk works and can see how his work might lend well to a movie. Definitely when a movie nails the characterization is when it truly competes with the book.

  2. Oh, I love the Fight Club movie too. I just re-watched it last weekend. I saw it before I read the book, which I think always biases me toward the film. The book is great though.

  3. Never read or seen Fight Club or Dracula, true story. Never read Pygmalion either and while some of the music of My Fair Lady is beautiful and I love Audrey Hepburn, I cannot stand the end. Cannot stand it. Makes me very angry. When I think of it, I have to sing "On the street where you live" in my head so I can forget my anger issues with the ending!

  4. I vaguely remember reading PYGMALION in school when I was about 14. But "My Fair Lady" is a masterpiece. I'm sure Shaw's play was great--I don't remember it too well. But I certainly remember "My Fair Lady." Who could forget Jeremy Brett (long before he was Sherlock Holmes) singing? Can you imagine Benedict Cumberbatch doing that? Or Robert Downey Jr? Mmmm... okay, I could perhaps see Downey Jr... :)

  5. I´ve never read FIGHT CLUB so I can´t really tell which one is better BUT....for DRACULA, I agree with you, it´s a GREAT book and a GREAT movie! It makes me think it´s been awhile since I watched it/read it!