Book before Movie vs Movie before Book

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Book before Movie vs Movie before Book
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 12:22pm

Well, I snatched up a DVD of The Hunger Games the other day and last night, we had a bunch of people over to watch it. Out of the 7 of us, four had read the books beforehand while the other three hadn't. I was kind of curious to see how those who hadn't read the book would react to the movie. All of us who read the books really enjoyed the movie, but of course, we also has a lot of "gap information" from reading the story that kind of filled in the nuisances that the movie just didn't touch on a lot.

Like the details of how deeply Katniss's mother kind of went missing emotionally after her father's death, how Katniss had to step in as provider and how protective she was of her sister and how she transferred some of the protectiveness toward Rue in the games. I  just wasn't sure if the more in-depth setup the book provided was conveyed enough in those short movie scenes to grab the attention of a non-reader... Know what I mean?

Well, they all said that they enjoyed the movie on its own, but they were going to read the books now, before the next one was released. As my BIL (who NEVER reads) put it, the movie was good enough to make reading the book more appealing; he borrowed my copy and my sister told me this morning, he read half of it last night! LOL

Now I'm wondering about books to movies... In most cases, do you find a good book is the catalyst that make you want to see the movie or do you find the movie is the thing that causes you to seek out the book?

For me, it's the books that draw me to the movies.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 3:30pm
I very rarely like the movie as much as the book, and I have never read a book because of the movie (Twilight being the most recent example for me). I am probably a little set in my ways when it comes to this. Ha!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 12:10pm

I can only think of two movies I've seen before reading the book. The first one was Gone with the Wind... I was probably about 11 years old when I saw the movie, but didn't read the book until a few years later. The other was Harry Potter! :smileyhappy: And that is actully the one series of movies I can say I enjoyed as much as the books, but I won't go so far as to say I liked the movies better than the books.

I will say, though, that if I start watching any of the movies, it compells me to re-read the whole series... and if I start re-reading the series, it makes me want to see all the movies again! I do the whole circle probably twice a year. I think The Hunger Games is going to fall into that wierd little category, too! LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2005
Sun, 08-26-2012 - 10:57am

Though there are times when I've found a new favorite book because of a movie or tv show (Game of Thrones, for instance) for the most part a books before the movie sort of person, too.  If I enjoyed the book, then chances are I'll see the movie.   

I totally get what you are saying about how having that "gap information" really helps when you are watching the movie. I was watching The Hunger Games the other night with my husband- who is not a reader.  He enjoyed the movie but he was kind of lost about a lot of the stuff that was going on.  Luckily, I was there to help fill in some of the gaps. :smileywink:  Overall, I thought they did an excellent job adapting THG to the big screen, but someone who has never read the book would wonder about why Katniss' relationship with her mother is so strained or what her history with Peeta is. 

Speaking of having gap information, don't even get me started on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!  It was so chopped up I felt like I was watching a music video.  If I hadn't read the book I wouldn't have understood a lot of what was going on.  I saw the movie with my oldest son (who had not read the book and was about 13 at the time) and he was totally lost. HP and the OOTP is my least favorite movie of the series.

Here's a question for everyone- is there a book that you felt should NOT have been turned into a movie?  One of my favorite books, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells, was (IMHO) positively mangled by the movie adaptation.  It is such a complex and nuanced book filled with flashbacks and complicated mother/daughter relationships that making a movie that did justice to the book was next to impossible. 

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