When Hollywood ruins a perfectly good book…

You all probably know exactly where you were and what you were doing the moment you heard the news. Maybe you were pouring a cup of coffee and let it overflow and spill all over while the terrible reality set in. Maybe you were driving and the shock made you crash right into a building. Maybe you were secretly looking at your phone in the middle of a test that you failed once you read the awful, devastating news.

You know what news I am talking about…

That moment when you heard who was going to play Jace in the Mortal Instruments movie.

My reaction: Who? You mean the dog-faced boy from Sweeney Todd? Are you effing kidding me?
What the hell happened to Alex “Prettyface” Pettyfer?
No! No! No! Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
Why, God, why????

Then I went through the stages of grief. I denied that this was happening. I prayed that the gods of film would intervene and cast ANYONE ELSE as my beloved Jace. Once I had to accept the truth (which only happened after I accidentally saw 3 seconds of a preview), I cried. Then I boycotted. I refused to watch the previews or read articles about the movie. I un-followed Cassandra Clare on Goodreads and unliked her on Facebook. It was nothing personal, but she kept talking about that abomination of a movie, and I simply couldn’t tolerate it. I cheered when the movie tanked. Frankly, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that it didn’t go straight to DVD.

So, of course, this got me thinking about all the great books that Hollywood has turned into mediocre or downright awful movies, so here goes:

Eragon – The book is a well-crafted world of fantasy, magic, dragons, protagonists, and antagonists. Sort of like Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones, if you will. The movie was just bleh. Dull cast, dull characters, and the plot was so hacked to pieces that I found myself wondering if the screenwriters had even read the book. Very disappointing.

Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand crafted one of the greatest horseracing books of all time. She captured the people, the horses, the time period, and America perfectly. Page after page, she made the people and the horses come alive and transported us readers back to the glory days of American horseracing, which used to be one of the most popular sports in this country. Then along comes the movie and one of the worst directing decisions of all time. I can forgive the casting of Bug Eyes Maguire as Red Pollard, but what I can’t forgive is the director’s decision in the middle of the match race (which is the height of tension, the point that the entire movie has built up to) to cut away from the race and show people listening in on radios. Are you kidding me? Get back to the damn race! Cutting away from the horses at that crucial moment killed the momentum and ruined the movie for me.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Director Alfonso Cuaron was praised for his “amazing vision,” and many critics said it was the best Harry Potter film yet. Uh, what movie were they watching? I could barely follow the film because I was too busy trying to figure out what on earth had happened to Hogwarts. The once beautiful castle now looked dark and foreboding and even the layout of the grounds had been changed to suit the director’s “vision.” The pacing was off and so much of the story had been cut that my friends who hadn’t read the books (yeah, I actually hang out with people like that – hard to believe, isn’t it?) had trouble understanding what was going on. The movie has grown on me somewhat over the years, but it is still far from my favorite.

Confessions of a Shopaholic – While I think this books series has gone from fun and entertaining to utterly ridiculous, the movie went straight to unbearable. How do you take a British book by a British author about a British girl living – you guessed it – in Britain, and then have the movie take place in NYC? As the salsa commercials used to say, “New York City? Get a rope.” Better yet, get a ticket to any other movie playing. I refused to watch this movie based on that fact alone. And judging by the money the movie didn’t make, other fans of the books apparently felt the same way.

I am not saying Hollywood always gets it wrong when converting a book to a movie, but if given the choice, I’ll take a book in my hands over a movie on a screen any day. Did I miss a terrible movie? Toss in your two cents, and thanks for visiting.


2 thoughts on “When Hollywood ruins a perfectly good book…

  1. aspenlinmer says:

    Yep, its sad how far a movie can go from the book. Especially when you’ve got such good images in your head from reading the story.



  2. Jeannie says:

    What I’m shocked by is how the author can so willingly let their characters and plot be totally rewritten. Sure people are going to have their own personal thoughts on casting but it seems especially with these YA series, the movie companies are more interested in finding a new actor to brand then finding someone who is the closest personification of that character.


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