I used to like it when books were made into movies. As long as I had read the book first it was OK. But I’ve seen so many movies-based-on-books lately that I’ve become jaded. The on-screen version rarely lives up to the way the story played out in my mind.
When I read, the characters come to life. They look and speak and dress a certain way, and the way I picture it never lines up with how they’re portrayed in movies.
With the Twilight books/movies, I read the book series after seeing the first movie, so in that case I pictured the actors from the movie as I read. Similarly, I saw The Help and still haven’t read the book, so I imagine if I were to ever read it I would be more likely to see the movie actors in the story than I would be to imagine my own. I read One Day and have yet to see the movie, yet even having just seen the previews with Anne Hathaway, she was the one I saw in my mind as I read. So if I see the movie first, it’s OK and actually has the potential to enrich the book-reading experience.
But if I’ve already read the book, the movie rarely improves upon the book and usually doesn’t live up. Something Borrowed, Water for Elephants and most recently The Hunger Games were all better in my mind than on the screen.
So all of that leads to the point — why I’m not that excited about The Lucky One, the latest movie based on a Nicolas Sparks’ book (complete list of Sparks-based movies here). Sparks is one my favorite authors; I’ve read all but two of his books, including The Lucky One. I enjoyed the book and don’t want the movie version to take any of that away. I still haven’t seen The Last Song because while I enjoyed the book I was little miffed when I found out later that Sparks wrote the book so that Miley Cyrus could star in the movie version.
I’ll probably come around and eventually see them both. I just find it interesting the relationship between books and movies and how it’s a heightened experience for some yet has the potential to take away something for others. What about you — do you read the book first, see the movie first or does it matter?