RTW: Movies over Books

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?

I have movies where I loved the book and hated the movie (Eragon), loved the movie but knew the book was better (Harry Potter), and adaptations that I'm able to enjoy separately (Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief).

Then, every once in awhile, a movie comes along that I like more than the book. This is more common in situations where I fall in love with the movie long before reading the book or I read the book some time before. Prince Caspian is the first movie I know of that I felt like that with. Part of it was the greatness of the movie, part of it was Ben Barnes, and part of it was the fact that I hadn't read the book in years.

Another one is Princess Diaries. I loved the movies for years before I tried the book series. I was really disappointed when I couldn't get into it at all.

Then there's Beastly. I loved the movie trailers so I wanted to read the book first. The book was okay, but I had some pretty major issues with it. Eventually I got around to watching the movie and I actually really enjoyed it. I felt a lot better about the way the plot kicks off than I did with the book.

I'm probably going to get in trouble for this last one but...Ella Enchanted. Ignoring the random moments of singing, the movie is actually great. After loving it for a couple years, I found out about the book and ended up winning it in a contest. Except for the basic premise, they're almost two different stories. The book is much more middle grade than the movie. I prefer the movie version of the breaking of the curse far over the book version.


Rachel said…
I think great Rachaels think alike - I just posted about THE PRINCESS DIARIES for this weeks RTW. :-)

(However I love ELLA ENCHANTED the book and disliked the movie...A LOT.)
Rachel said…
I have to comment as another Rachel. Although I haven't read any of the books mentioned. But I liked the movies! :)
Unknown said…
Surprisingly I agree with you on the Ella Enchanted bit, for the most part anyway. I love the book, and I heart the movie because they are two different entities I don't feel like I am betraying the other. Plus Hugh Dancy, how do you not love Hugh Dancy?
Anonymous said…
I liked how Beastly had a better reason for Lindy to stay in Kyle's house. It seemed less creepy. And the film is just more awesome for Neil Patrick Harris.

And while I'm not a big fan of Mary-Kate Olsen now (loved the twins when I was younger) I thought she was perfect for the witch role.
Kelly Fiore said…
I forgot about Beastly! That was an excellent movie! In fact, maybe I'll go watch it... :) Great list!
VikLit said…
Haven't read Ella Emchanted book but did Enjoy movie and think the Princess Diaries did a good job!
Crystal said…
I don't think I read any of these, but Ella Enchanted and Princess Diaries were really fun movies! Wasn't a big fan of that Beastly movie... I don't know why. It just didn't do it for me.
stephanie kuehn said…
Oh, I really wanted to see the Beastly movie and I missed it when it was out. Now I'll have to rent it!
I've gotta agree with you about Ben Barnes, although I love C.S. Lewis' books.
I've never read Ella Enchanted but I loved the movie and all its silliness.
I also loved Beastly, both book and movie. The book had some different things, like the "chats" between the fairy tale characters that were lots of fun. But Alex Pettyfer. Enough said.
The one thing I gotta disagree on is Princess Diaries. While I love the movie, the books are so awesome and so funny. I'd seen the movie first and was a bit disappointed when I read the books later at all the things they changed in the movie. But then again, in later books Mia mentions the movie and how it's so different from her "real life." So clever of Meg Cabot.
Good picks! I think the princess movies (Diaries and Ella) were fun in both incarnations, book and movie, and were great film projects.
Colin Smith said…
While I think they've done an excellent job so far with the Narnia movies, the books will always be better, at least in my opinion.

I've seen the movie, but not read ELLA ENCHANTED. People's comments have me intrigued. :)
Unknown said…
Sounds like lots of people prefer The Princess Diaries movie! It makes sense for a good makeover movie to be better on the big screen :) I haven't seen Beastly, but I'm glad you liked it! And mmm Ben Barnes. He makes a good case for the movie version!
Em said…
Funny, I seem to remember preferring the Ella Enchanted book but can't really recall my impression of the movie (though I do remember it more or less)!

I was just talking with a library patron about how we much preferred the movie Just Like Heaven to If Only It Were True ... but in fairness to that, I've only read the English version.
Elodie said…
I loved loved loved ELLA ENCHANTED and PRINCESS DIARIES as movies so I´m tad scared to pick them up as books. You know like when you don´t want a good thing to be spoiled?
Hmmm I probably will soon but I´ll have to keep my expectations in check :D Thanks for sharing!

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