There is only one bad thing about going to the movies. It’s not the ticket prices, crowded theaters, extensive trailers – I could watch an hour of these – parking or driving there, or talking during the show. None of those. The only bad part of going to the movies is walking out and hearing someone say; “Well it wasn’t as good as the book”. You know what it never is, and it’s not the movie’s fault.
It’s yours. There is an implicit risk that people don’t seem to understand. When you begin to read a book there is a slight chance that book will become so popular that Hollywood will derive a movie from it and when you go to see it you will be ultimately disappointed.* It always happens, even with bad movies. The Da Vinci Code book sold more than sixty million copies but the move garnered only a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I’d suspect that part of this rating was due to reviewers knowing what else was in the book but wasn’t included in the movie.**
Let’s not blame the movie makers for this either, it’s your fault. It took you sixteen hours to read the book, if they made a movie that included everything you wouldn’t even want to watch it. They don’t make adult books short enough that would accommodate an appropriate movie length. What you’re looking for is a different medium, called television.
The only books that make appropriate movie lengths are written by Dr. Seuss
Only two remedies exists for this problem - though many will find the first displeasing – stop reading these books. The current vein of books-to-Hollywood seems to mining outsiders as heroes (Twilight, Harry Potter, The Girl Who). If you find yourself on that literary path, take caution because that road ends on a studio lot in California. If ceasing to read seems too bitter there is a sweet part as well, watch the movie before reading the book and it will make both better. For as bad and deplorable a book to movie becomes, a movie to book transition swings in the opposite way. After getting exposed to a story through the visual medium the move to the book must be akin to hallucinogen drugs that allow the user to taste the color red.
Alternatively, consumers of the story can remember – frequently don’t – the movie and book they watched were both – frequently true – works of fiction. Fake. Fabricated. What about those unique movies about real life? They are still just movies. When Mark Zuckerberg was running around the Harvard campus Trent Reznor wasn’t streaming music to add to the drama. What your seeing is what someone thought would be interesting to see, any liberties from what actually happened don’t make it false, they make it artistic.
Next time you attend a movie, enjoy the popcorn, 3-D, laughing with other people and time out of the house. Don’t spoil it by bemoaning the differences because those are your faults, not the movies.
*It seems that the Twilight saga may be the exception that proves the rule because readers didn’t fully understand the hunkiness of the main characters.
**I’m not sure if leaving parts out makes this movie better or worse