It’s often true that “the book was better” when it comes to film adaptations, but sometimes, the movie can do the original text justice. That’s what I’m hoping happens for Orange is the New Black, Sing You Home and other upcoming book-turned-films with queer themes that are in the works. But since The Perks of Being a Wallflower is getting such great reviews and was written and directed by its original author, it felt like a great time to discuss our favorite books or stories that were made into work for the big or small screens.
Group, what’s your favorite adaptation?
Marcie Bianco: I’m kind of smitten with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The movie was brilliant, the one line zingers legendary, and it did a superlative job of capturing a comic novel series on one film.
Dorothy Snarker: Anne of Green Gables, even though that was a TV movie. But I feel like I answer Anne of Green Gables for every Huddle question, so I’ll also say To Kill a Mockingbird. Because if Gregory Peck isn’t the perfect Atticus Finch, no one is.
Dara Nai: Jesus Christ Superstar. OK, it didn’t have any mention of a Mrs. Jesus or good Jewish mother-in-law jokes, but it’s a fun rock opera by the musical dynamic duo, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Lindsey Byrnes: The Devil Wears Prada. I love this movie and read the book first and, yes, that tells you something about the kind of books I read and I am not embarrassed about it.
Emily Hartl: Anne of Green Gables FTW, forever and always. I had high hopes for Tipping the Velvet because in my mind it was going to be a wildly homosexual old timey period piece in the same vein as my beloved Anne but, alas, not so much.
Karman Kregloe: Whenever people play that dreadful game of “If you had to pick just one movie…” I struggle to choose between Raiders of the Lost Arc, The Godfather, Almost Famous and Raising Arizona. Then I throw up my hands and admit that my favorite movie will likely always be Jaws. Maybe that’s because I saw it when I was young (and even more) impressionable or because it was one of the few movies I ever went to with my father. Or maybe it’s because it’s just fraking epic! I love the film so much that I even tried to read the book. What a disappointment. I found Peter Benchley‘s bestselling novel, which spawned the movie, to be far more mechanical than Steven Spielberg‘s notoriously unreliable shark.
Mia Jones: The first to come to mind was The Outsiders but then I remembered the incredible Franco Zeffirelli 1960’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare’s work is obviously a classic but this film version made me cry so hard, uglier tears than Claire Danes herself. It’s also what made me want to go to film school.
Lucy Hallowell: Brokeback Mountain. Annie Proulx‘s short story is spare and wonderful but the movie that sprung from that beginning was perfection. I went to the movie not knowing that it was a heart-shattering love story (he kept the shirts!). I lost it when “He Was a Friend of Mine” played over the credits and cried big, fat, ugly, tears all the way home.
The Linster: The Princess Bride. I can’t even list all the reasons — just read the book and watch the movie and smile for days.
Trish Bendix: Although they have a lot of differences, Secretary the film, as inspired by Mary Gaitskill‘s short story of the same name, is one of my favorite adaptations. It spawned my love of Maggie Gyllenhaal and is just a really hot story about an unlikely love affair between a boss and his subordinate. Screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson is also behind the adaptations of Chloe and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, both of which I thought were sexy yet dark films. She can adapt anything and I’ll watch it.
Bridget McManus: The Shining is an outstanding scary Stephen King novel and a terrifically outstanding scary film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. Duvall’s performance as a petrified housewife makes this film my favorite of all time.
What would you add to the list?