“The book was WAY better than the film!”
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this saying before. Sure, reading is fun, but when your favorite character or universe is brought to life on screen and it’s somehow even better than the book, that’s very rare and a dream come true. If you love to read but have been too nervous to see the film adaption because you’re scared it has been completely murdered and the original screenplay just turned it to mush, then have no fear, because I’m here to tell you which ones are actually worth sitting down for.
In no particular order:
1. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
Novel written by Stephen Chbosky, published in 1991.
I’m being completely biased starting with my absolute favorite book of all time, but they did the book justice with this gem of a film. Having the original author of the novel write and direct the screenplay for the film is the reason this coming-of -age story was glorious and I think that’s why it works so well. The book is written in a letter format, where you are made to read Charlie’s thoughts; he tells you everything you need to know about his confounding life in singular, personal letters.
2. American Psycho (2000)
Novel written by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991.
This freakishly chilling film is a cult classic for many reasons, but the main reason being the casting of Christian Bale who literally frightens me so much – but I appreciate his talents. Books are able to give so much detail and background of characters which is usually neglected in adaptations. However, in American Psycho, we are treated to Patrick Bateman’s morning procedure including his skincare routine, and also his hardcore Whitney Houston song analysis, which I am for one a big fan of.
3. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Novel written by André Aciman, published in 2007.
Call Me by Your Name is an absolutely stunning piece of literature from André Aciman. I was already getting hyped for the film coming out, so ultimately I dragged myself to Waterstones bookstore. I treated myself to the book so that I felt like I was serving the film the full amount of attention and love it needed from me.
Much like everybody else, I was in awe with the book straight away, resulting in me being even more anxious to see the film, hoping that it meets my high standards. On a busy Friday evening at my local cinema, I went by myself to the only showing they played, which was mainly full of cute couples and just lonely old me. I was mesmerized the whole duration, I felt so lucky and proud of myself for going to this showing because I don’t think I would have appreciated this film if I hadn’t have seen it first on the big screen. Since then, it has been up there as one of my favorite cinema experiences and favorite pieces of cinema!
4. Fight Club (1999)
Novel written by Chuck Palahniuk, published in 1996.
Ultimately, we all knew this was going to be on the list – one of the biggest, most popular films directed by my favorite director David Fincher.
However, I myself was never aware that Fight Club was actually a novel first. I am now well educated – that’s what happens when you do your research kids! Being someone who has only watched Fight Club twice (I know, fight me), I have an explanation. The two times I have watched it, I have been completely in love with everything. I don’t wish to ruin the feelings I have for this film by re-watching too often to which I start to get bored because I tend to have that annoying habit.
5. Bridge To Terabithia (2007)
Novel written by Katherine Paterson, published in 1977.
Yes, you read the title right. Bridge To Terabithia is one of the most heartbreaking films I watched as a 20 year old. You thought I was going to say child? Well I hate to break it to you, but I was too scared to watch this as a small child, because my friends told me how sad it was and at that time I was only watching Scooby-Doo! and Mulan. After recently getting around to watching it, I know why I wouldn’t have liked it as a child. The main reason being I live near some woods which also has a rope swing tied to a tree.
*Insert some imaginary meme of my face when I discovered the connection here.*
6. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Novel written by Lauren Weisburger, published in 2003.
Florals for spring? Groundbreaking.
My second favorite comfort film makes it way onto the list! This hilarious film is a classic for me, Anne Hathaway was my favorite actress at the time when I first watched this and rightfully so. She was the shining star of this movie even when there’s Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt, who I’m also HUGE fans of. If this book wasn’t made into a film, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, a bold statement from me but it’s true. You’ll often find me muttering “that’s all” under my breath when I’m done with people. I’m a massive introvert so if they ever heard, I would pretend I never said anything, because I am the complete opposite of Miranda Priestly (sadly).
7. Brooklyn (2015)
Novel written by Colm Tóibín, published in 2009.
I find the film adaptation of the novel Brooklyn absolutely beautiful and I find myself shedding tears before I’ve even pressed play. I remember the first watch, I told myself I wouldn’t be interested and that it’s way off from what I normally love, but I was so wrong.
I found comfort and emotion in this film that I didn’t know I had or needed. Since then, I have re-watched it a total of 7 times, 3 being with my Granny who I showed this to. She is now also a big Saoirse Ronan fan and has stolen my DVD of this – we love that. The character development of Eilis is so moving to watch. The ever growing confidence and how carefully she picks out her sentences is the type of woman I aspire to be, and with that said, I do find parts of myself in her.
I’ve never been in love (crowd goes aww) but this film made me feel all of those soppy and mushy feelings you must feel when you are completely in love and I can’t wait till I meet my Italian Tony who loves baseball and has a sassy little brother who hates the Irish!
8. Room (2015)
Novel written by Emma Donoghue, published in 2010.
Sorry – I didn’t mean for the theme to be sad.
A beautifully written, emotional roller-coaster of a novel. I can understand why some people might not watch this film as it’s uncomfortable at times, but you have to sympathize with this young boy and woman who have suffered this horrendous trauma whilst we were away living our lives.
I know I’m talking about books to films, but one thing I will add is the soundtrack instantly transports your body and makes you go cold – its a weird experience for me, especially ‘The Mighty Rio Grande’. Literal chills. Brie Larson ended up winning the Oscar for Best Actress for her incredible performance, and she couldn’t have deserved it more. It’s my favorite piece of work from her so far.
9. Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire (2005)
Novel written by J.K. Rowling, published in 2001.
I had to include at least one Harry Potter book, otherwise it would be insane of me to even write this list. The Goblet of Fire may not be the most popular, but this one has mermaids and that’s all I’m saying. I remember how freaking excited I was reading this and hearing we were going to see MERMAIDS in the film. From the very beginning, I was intrigued with this particular book due to there being a Triwizard Tournament, and when I watched the film I was not disappointed. With that being said, it’s my most re-watched Harry Potter film for that very reason. We were also introduced to many new and wonderful characters which went on to be some of my favorites, including Fleur Delacour and Cedric Diggory, However, I would watch this film just for Victor Krum alone.
10. Gone Girl (2014)
Novel written by Gillian Flynn, published in 2012.
David Fincher is back at it again making a movie from a novel. Written by a talented female writer, Gone Girl is now a cult classic and a spellbinding thriller. Almost everyone has seen this film and too right they should have. This novel was a huge success due to how cleverly written it is, the themes surrounding dishonesty and trust in an almost perfect marriage on the outside to what lies beneath on the inside. Feminism shines through a small amount, small enough to appreciate the sinister and twisted psychopath that is amazing Amy Dunne. If you aren’t aware of the cool girl monologue, I’m sure you can ask someone and they can give you a full length script read.
That concludes my book to film adaptations list, I have more than 10 so I apologize if I didn’t include your favorites. I would love to hear which ones would have made it onto your list, so let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!