Books being turned into movies has become very popular lately (my theory is that Hollywood is running low on original content, but I digress). There’s quite a few hits, and lots of misses. Here’s my thoughts for best and worst movie adaptions:
Best: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
I loved the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower and was really excited to see the movie adaption. The movie did not disappoint. I think that the director did a great job of showing the humor and lightness without negating the realness and seriousness of the story. Both elements play a key part in the plot, and the movie definitely succeeded in maintaining that delicate balance.
When watching the movie, I was anxiously waiting for the iconic car scene. But once it came, I was very excited with how it turned out. It was fun and exhilarating, and it did its job in serving as the pivotal transition in Charlie’s life.
“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”
The actors also all did a phenomenal job in portraying their characters. The characters were accurately reflected, and I was so happy to see that the dynamic between Patrick, Sam, and Charlie did not get overshadowed with the story of the romance. Also, I adore Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Paul Rudd, so seeing them interacting with one another was a lot of fun.
Worst: “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan
This movie was terrible. There’s a running joke that nobody hates this movie more than Rick Riordan himself (check out his sad yet hilarious open letter about his strong dislike for the movies). It was just so bad. I loved this book as a kid, and seeing it so poorly portrayed on screen was heart-breaking.
The only good thing about that movie was the casting director’s impeccable choice for Logan Lerman as Percy (he really got a hit and a miss with movie adaptions it seems).
But they changed everything.
- Annabeth has blonde, curly hair in the book. It’s a very big part of her description and it’s an easy fix, even if your actress is brunette with straight hair. Just use a wig!
- Percy and Annabeth were 12 in the book; they were just kids, not beautiful teenagers.
- They completely changed the ending with the master bolt (which I won’t spoil), but if you’ve seen the movie and read the book, you know what I’m talking about.
- Ares plays a key part in the book, but he’s nowhere to be seen in the movie.
- The movie really played up the attraction between Percy and Annabeth, when in the book they really don’t get along very well until they start developing a very sarcastic and teasing friendship.
- Speaking of, a lot of Annabeth’s character is pushed aside to make way for her to be the romantic counterpart as opposed to her own distinct character.
The sequel was equally as terrible, and the majority of the plot was not awful and attempted to fill some huge holes left by the first movie, but the ending was so so wrong and different that any positive things in the movie were negated by the drastic change in the ending scene.
I must say though, the Percy Jackson series is incredible, and even though it’s aimed at kids, I still highly recommend it to anyone who loves adventure stories.