Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Book is Always Better

You know how you always hear people say "the book was better than the movie"? Well, usually I just take their word for it though most of the time I find myself thinking, "the movie was pretty good, I can't imagine how the book was that much better".

I don't have much time to read books (or even to watch movies these days), but a couple Christmases ago my sister-in-law, Susan, introduced me to Nicholas Sparks' books. Having LOVED the film versions of A Walk to Remember and The Notebook, I finally forced myself to make time to venture into reading a few of his books. And I loved them, every one. I found myself thinking "no wonder they've made so many of his books into movies!" And then I found out that yet another one of his books, Nights in Rodanthe, was on it's way into theaters. And for the first time, I had already read the book! I was so excited to see the film as the book had been enrapturing and knowing Richard Gere and Diane Lane had been cast as the leading roles made my anticipation even that much greater.

Susan and I wanted to see the film together, but as she was in Africa for the duration of its time in the theater, we both waited for it to come out on DVD. Last Friday night, we cozied up on the couch and settled in to finally see the book come to life. Five minutes into the film we were already feeling disappointed with the "creative licensing" that had been taken in the film version. As the movie played on we picked apart different scenes, discussing how things differed from the book and how they effected the overall story. When the movie ended, rather than feeling the emotion of your standard romantic film, I felt disappointment and frustration. Where was the passion, the adrenaline, the heartbreak Mr. Sparks had so eloquently written?! And why was the story line so altered from the pages to the silverscreen? It had been the perfect tug-at-your-heart-strings tale. And Hollywood ruined it. At least for me anyway.

I don't want to deter anyone from seeing it just because I'm bitter about it. Maybe had I not first read the book, I would've found it to be just another great tear-jerking flick. But if you do see it, read the book afterwards and you'll see what I mean. Finally though, I know for myself that what they say is true. The book IS better than the movie.

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