Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oscar Week: Worst Adaptations

We're gearing up for the Oscars on Sunday. Yesterday we did the best/my favorite adaptations of teen books. Today we're doing the worst.


The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. The movie's great, but it has little to do with the book. Most egregious example? In the book, Grandmere has her eyeliner tattooed on and Mia's first princess lesson is how to mix a sidecar (and to keep them coming.) In the movie, she's super nice and played by Julie Andrews. The second movie has nothing to do with the rest of the series at all.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. A movie based on a picture book shouldn't be rated PG. A movie based on a 48-page book shouldn't then have a 300+ page book based on the movie. I feel like the story Eggers wanted to tell would have been a great movie on its own, but instead it was the movie based on this book and... ugh.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Love this series of books. I'll admit, I've never seen the movie BUT only because it just looked so awful. When I asked TAB what the worst movie adaptation was though, this one won by a landslide.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I know this is supposedly one of the greatest movies of all time. BUT. It stripped out everything that made the book so amazing. I know it's narrated by a character that never speaks, so it would be hard to adapt, but this movie doesn't do the book any justice at all. And yes, it's for adults, but I read the book (and saw the movie) in English class in high school.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this movie, but it bears little resemblance to the book. I'm pretty sure the movie-makers had NO IDEA that this is a retelling of Persuasion, because they completely stripped out every single parallel. Just like with the first movie, they completely changed the ending, stripping out the book's version of Lydia running away with Wickham. I've still seen both movies a million times. Also an adult movie and film, but one with teen appeal that I think many teens have seen (if not read).

On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison. I've highlighted the first book in this series (Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging) a lot lately and the movie combines the two. It's a sweet film, but it looses all the madcap hilariousity (although the shot of Georgia in her olive costume is pretty great) and condenses a lot in order to fit it all in. I was severely disappointed that Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (seriously?! PERFECT?) was never released in the US. Then I saw it. While visiting friends in England, I made them rent it so I could see it. I haven't been invited back since then.


The Adventures of Tintin, Vol. 1 by Herge. Seriously, have movie makers never heard of the uncanny valley? The animation creeped me out so much in the previews that I never did see the movie.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. This is another one that I couldn't bring myself to watch, the previews and reviews were that awful, I decided to save my money.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I don't mean the one that just came out (haven't seen it) but that horrible 80s cartoon version. That movie was so bad it took me YEARS before I read the book. Luckily, it was the movie, and not the book.

What movies totally ruined the book for you?

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