Mein Neues Leben in Deutschland

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why the Book is ALWAYS better than the Movie

6 Reasons why everyone seems to think "the book was better":

1) There are no bad actors in books

2) There are no bad directors in books

The reader is the director of a story. He plays the scenes, the movement, the setting, and the mood in his mind. So unless he is a self-loathing depressive (ahem) or suffering from multiple personalities (ahem ahem) there will be no instances of "The way I imagined this scene is ridiculous! If I would have done it, it would have been this way..."

3) Movies are not made out of crappy books

Mostly true anyway. A movie can be better than the book if the book was really bad in the first place. If there were a lot of things we don't like about the book, there is a chance we will enjoy a well made movie based on it. Marketabillity dictates that movies are to be made form bestselling books and not some unknown sappy romance novel with bad cover art.

4) It's hard to get to know someone in 2 hours

It takes me between 1-2 weeks to read a medium sized novel. I'm a slow read so forgive me. My point is in these 1-2 weeks, one is able to create a bond with the characters. I think of them when I'm in the bus, when I mentally tune out of a boring meeting, or when I'm drinking blood (Ah my dear Lestat).

In a 90 minute movie, it's much harder to create an emotional bond. When I meet someone for the first time, I'm lucky if I can get a phone number in the first 90 minutes. (I'm a slow flirt so forgive me)

5) Some things don't translate

For example, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy's humor is prose based. It's near impossible to translate visually.

The avalanche began.

Stones then rocks, then boulders, pranced past him like clumsy puppies, only much bigger, much, much harder and heavier, and almost infinitely more likely to kill you if they fell on you.


Hilarious book with a not-surprisingly stale movie.

6) You sound uncultured when you think the movie is better

All the artists and widely read people are constantly complaining that the book was better. A lot of critiques consider the movies, especially hollywood movies, to be shallow, trite, and devoid of artistic merit. So someone who likes the movie better usually says so in an guilty manner and appologises for feeling that way.

Like I said in the previous post, people shouldn't dwell on the Book vs Movie debate. These are two different things.

Instead, we should all focus on more relevant comparisons such as: the play vs the movie, the game vs the movie, and finally the musical vs the movie vs the book.

Categories: Critique


  • I think that perhaps Hitchhiker's Guide is a bad example. Douglas Adams wanted the book to be different than the radio play and the movie to be different than both. He wanted them all to stand alone. And I think they do. I love them all for very different reasons.

    By Blogger Mel Wells, at 2:48 AM  

  • Yeah. I also realized it was not the best example since it was a radio play before it was a book. It was the only book from which a movie was made that I have at the moment. Unless there was a movie called 2004/2005 Spartacus International Gay Guide that I don't know about.

    Oh yeah, I have Memoirs of a Geisha, but I can't seem finish it. :)

    By Blogger Ernest, at 6:32 AM  

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