Rummanah Aasi
 It's Tuesday and time for another top ten list from the gals over The Broke and the Bookish. Today's topic of choosing our favorite book to movie adaptation was quite hard for me. I tend to either really hate a lot of movies that are based on a book that I have read. I also realized that I really like some movies that are based on books (i.e. The Princess Bride, Ella Enchanted), but I haven't read the book so I can't comment on how faithful it is to its original work.

Top 10 Favorite Books into Movies (in no particular order)

   Clueless is  a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. This is one of those rare cases where I liked the movie much more than the book. Austen's Emma got on my nerves so much that I couldn't enjoy the book. I hated her righteous attitude. When I met Cher, I instantly liked her for being...well so clueless about what was going around her.

   The Joyluck Club by Amy Tan is a book that broke my heart into many pieces with its heart wrenching stories of how mothers sacrfice things for their children. The movie had the same effect of me, my mom, and my sisters. A fabulous cast and screenplay that handled the various stories and different character point of views very well.

   Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. Tolkein- I'm blown away by how much detail Peter Jackson included in his trilogy. I couldn't decide which movie of the three to put on here, so I cheated and included all of the. My favorite book, however, is The Two Towers. The movies really helped me get the various characters, races, and languages straight in my head when I read the books. The movies also introduced me to fabulous actors like Viggo Mortenson who I knew nothing about.

   The Outsiders by SE Hinton- This is probably the most faithful book to movie adaptation that I've ever seen. The actors became the characters. Their comraderie, loyalty, and love for one another leaped off the screen and felt authentic. Out of all the actors, I would say that Matt Dillon's Dallas broke my heart. Looking back at it now, the cast is unbelievable: Patrick Swayze (RIP), Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise (before he went psycho), Ralph Macchio, and Diane Lane amongst the noteables. I still don't understand how all the actors except for C. Thomas Howell, who played Ponyboy,  seemed to make it big in Hollywood.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Okay, so technically this is a TV miniseries, but I absolutely loved it. The screenplay is fantastic and hits on the right notes of Austen's social and political points. I watch this yearly during Winter Break and still can't get enough. It's my first introduction to Colin Firth and I have watched almost anything with him every since. To me, Colin Firth will always be Mr. Darcy.

   William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet- I absolutely love everything about this Baz Lurhman's adaptation. It beautifully and creatively captured the spirit and tone of the play while making the film contemporary with its awesome soundtrack, clothing, set, and a terffic, diverse cast. I can watch this film several times and have several different reactions to it everytime I finish it. My VHS copy of this movie is so run down that I have to go and buy the DVD. 

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?  by Peter Hedges- Everyone knows about my obsession over Johnny Depp, but that's not why I liked this movie (well, okay just a little ;) ). What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of that transferred the book's tenderness, teen angst, caring and self-awareness of the Grape family. I firmly believe Leonardo was cheated out of getting an Oscar for his portrayal of Arnie. He was phenomenal and solidified him, in my opinion, as an actor. 

   About a Boy is possibly my favorite Nick Hornby novel. It compacts a romantic comedy, family drama, and self awareness all into one. While reading the book, I couldn't think of anyone else to play the despicable yet loveable Will than Hugh Grant. Talk about a role made for an actor! Although the ending is different than the novel, it stays true to the characters and spirit of the book.

   Hamlet by William Shakespeare-  I've loved all of the adaptations that I have seen so far by Kenneth Branaugh, but I think Hamlet is his best. The movie is shot like an old school epic film like Lawrence of the Arabia, leaving no details untouched. While the movie may be long for some, I was glued to my seat watching how the characters and play unravel. I thought Branaugh's Hamlet had a wide range of emotions instead of the confused, crazed lunatic that is popularly portrayed by most actors. Kate Winslet's Ophelia broke my heart. 

Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier- Not only is the movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, but I think it perfectly captured the creepiness of the novel, especially Mrs. Danvers. Joan Fontaine effortlessly captures the innocence and mannerisms of Mrs. Dewinters.

These are my favorite movies based on books. What are yours?

12 Responses
  1. Those are all great books/movies. My favorite version of Halmet though is the Mel Gibson one. The Branaugh adaption is a bit too over the top for me. I don't feel the setting captures the tone of the play as well either. It is too bright and vibrant. The tone of the play is death, decay, and darkness.

  2. I lovelovelove About a Boy, but I've never read the book. I thought some of the male characters in Joy Luck Club were a lot more cruel in the book than in the movie, but I still loved the movie, too!

  3. @Books for Learning: Interesting. The Mel Gibson was a little too Fredudian for me. I do agree that it maybe too vibrant, but I think he was going for an epic movie/play watching experience.

    @Linds: You gotta read "About a Boy"! It's great. I thought the male characters in Joyluck Club was just as cruel in the book.

  4. Jenni Elyse Says:

    When I read Rebecca a few years ago, I looked and looked for the movie. I saw it a very long time ago, but I don't remember anything about it and I wanted to see it after reading the book. I was sad that I couldn't find it.

  5. danya Says:

    Yay for the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice! That one's my favourite as well :)

    Interesting that your LOTR fave book is The Two Towers...that's the one I like the least! I just found it too slow-moving (apart from all the battle scenes, which blended together in my mind LOL). As for the movies, I think my favorite has to be the first one, just because I love all the interactions between the fellowship and their journey together :)

  6. Bibliophile Says:

    I am on the first pages of Rebecca. The movie is next if I can find it anywhere.

  7. @Jenni: I hope you can find it! I'm a big fan of Hitchcock so him being the director was a bonus. The actress who played Mrs. Danvers is incredibly creepy!

    @Danya: LOL, that's the same reason why I thought "Fellowship" was too slow.

    @Bibliophile: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It was the very first book my high school librarian recommended to me and I've been recommending it ever since!

  8. Jenny Says:

    OH! The Lord of the Rings movies I thought were amazing, especially considering all the elements in the books and the range of species and characters and places. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites too, I adore Colin Firth:)

  9. Thanks for dropping by my blog and I apologize that has taken me so long to get back to you. I like your list though I confess I've actually seen very few of the movies you mention. But the P & P you mentioned is my favorite movie/TV series, ever.


  10. Unknown Says:

    Good call on Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet. It was beautifully acted, visually stunning, and Clare Danes and Leo DiCaprio could not have been more perfect as fresh faced young lovers. Triple triple love this movie.

  11. Gotta love the BBC P&P. I preferred Matthew Macfadyen to Colin Firth (the 2005 Mr. Darcy), but the BBC production was by far superior.
    I also loved About a Boy. I didn't read the book until years after seeing the movie. They're quite different. I liked both but I may like the movie more.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts

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