There are plenty of cases of book to movie adaptations that leave viewers disappointed. But, thanks to a recent twitter trend (#thefilmwasbetter), I've come up with a solid list of book to movie adaptations where the movie was actually better than the book itself!
The 7 Best Book to Movie Adaptations
1. Treasure Planet vs. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island is a classic adventure novel that is perhaps known by almost everyone. It's also one that not everyone reads. Unfortunately, just because it's a "classic" to one generation does not mean that every generation will enjoy it just as much. That's not to say the story itself is bad; who can hate a pirate hunting adventure? Nevertheless, I personally found the book was not to my preference, mostly due to the writing style, except for the very piratey parts which I absolutely loved. The film, Treasure Island, adapted the story and the book and elevated it to new heights.. It took the story from the source material and put it in this alien, futuristic landscape and made book's elements timeless. Plus, the movie has Joseph Gordon Levitt voicing the main character, and really, what isn't better with Joseph Gordon Levitt?
2. Love, Simon vs Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Alright, so this is my controversial contribution. I, personally, think that Love, Simon was better than the book. Now, lower those pitchforks, let me explain. While the book itself is a great book to read, it also drags in a lot of places. Like. So many. What I think the movie does that the book doesn't is it trims the narrative. It removed a lot of the scenes that made the book so slow and heightened the story itself. But hey, that's just an opinion. A book opinion! Alright, my MatPat impression is finished.
3. Holes vs Holes by Louis Sachar
Alright, Holes: the classic book that I think everyone read at some point between elementary and middle school. I have to say that the book and movie are really close to being equally as good as the other. Both of them are fantastic and honestly, there's not that much that didn't make it to the movie from the book. All the iconic scenes that we know and love are pretty much included in the movie. They didn't butcher any of the narratives or characters. I mean look at Kissin' Kate Barlow: her tragic story of a forbidden love and eventual rampage are given the ethos that it deserved. And who can complain about the Zeroni/Yelnats connection in the book and how it translated to the movie. The only reason why I prefer the movie to the book itself is because the movie gave us such an AMAZING soundtrack.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower vs. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of those book/movie combos that exploded, and caused one quote to be used over, and over again.
But hey, we can forgive it for that. Mostly.
What I personally think the movie did better than the books was that it streamlined the story without losing any of the relatable elements. There were times in the book where it felt like the narration and plot wanders and the book can be a little vague in terms of the emotional impact some of the events have. But in the movie, the actors and actresses do such a good job of bringing that emotional impact onscreen, and just bringing these characters to life while streamlining the overall narrative itself.
5. Jurassic Park vs. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Alright, this was a pretty common pick that I noticed on the twitter thread, and I have to agree with it. The Jurassic Park book and movie have a lot of differences between the two. There are a lot of subplots that aren't featured in the film, or are moved to films later on in the franchise. Such as visitors being trapped in an unopened hotel on the island, a scene where the T-Rex chasing Dr. Grant and the children down the river in an inflatable raft-which later inspired the ride at Universal Studios, and character deaths. What removing these scenes does to the movie, I believe, is allow it to have a faster, less wandering plot, while keeping the heart of the novel and the adventures with the dinosaurs the same.
6. Tuck Everlasting (2002) vs. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Tuck Everlasting was a childhood favorite of mine; I mean, I must have read the book at least a hundred times. One of the biggest differences between the book and the film is that the character of Winnie is ten in the book and seventeen in the movie. I feel like this was a good change because it allowed for a really adorable romance subplot to be added. I'm not saying that every story needs a romance subplot to be added in, but when it's done well, it really enhances the story. Romance aside, the movie did a really great job in terms of taking this whimsical book and turning it in to a movie that keeps the whimsical aspect while still adapting it to make sense for modern watchers.
7. Jaws vs. Jaws by Peter Bencheley
This is one of the book to movie adaptations is oftentimes considered to be one of the best made. In the book, the Great White Shark is not the main adversary of the little seaside town. It's instead a huge financial recession that most of the town is fighting against, and leads to the mayor and other shady government officials to covering up the shark attacks. There's also a lot of melodrama and romantic subplots to the book that are cut in favor of making it a more action themed movie than a dramatic one. A lot of cuts, that many people (as well as I) say, were for the best. Just watch the movie; it's amazing.
That concludes my list of book to movie adaptations where #thefilmwasbetter. If you have any you think deserved to make the list, comment down below! I'd love to hear from you.
If you're interested in joining a monthly book to movie book club, check out the link on goodreads! Starting today, we're going to be polling to see what our July book of the month should be!
Thanks for reading, and I'll talk to you soon!