The Book Was Better Than The Movie

I used to HATE it when people said that. Mainly because I worked at the local Movie Gallery for 4 years while I was in college and I was pretty much a stereotypical guy who played video games and never read books for fun. I watched the movie for what it was and never knew any different. It was a glorious ignorant movie watching experience.

Then I got married. And on my honeymoon at Rivera Maya near Cancun, Mexico, I read an entire book while lounging on the beach or by the pool. It had been years since I’d been sucked into a book and couldn’t put it down – mainly because I just didn’t read. Now, maybe I could call this a guilty pleasure, I’ve read almost every book Jodi Picoult has

written because The Pact was so fun to read. It kept my attention. I never counted pages left in a chapter like I used to do when trying to trudge my way through an assigned book reading. I completely enjoyed reading the whole time.

If you ask me, the best books are the books that you don’t even realize you’re reading, you’re just completely immersed in a story as it unfolds. And I could say the same thing about the best movies – you don’t even realize you’re watching them. This brings me to the main point of this post: the book should always be better than the movie! And here’s why:

1. The book has an unlimited amount of pages to tell the entire story as intended by the original creator.

2. Movies are adapting the original into script form and squeezing it inside a ‘watchable’ time frame. Nobody wants to realize they’re watching the movie because it is taking so long and not keeping people immersed in the story.

3. The adaptation is made for Hollywood to try to bring more appeal to the masses (to make more money) instead of letting the story be – especially the ending! Nothing is worse than changing the Mack truck ending of a book to the actually not-so-Hollywood ending that ends up in the movie. *Spoiler Alert* Cough-cough-MY SISTER’S KEEPER!-cough.

Okay, before you freak out, there are obviously some books that translate very well into movies. A recent book turned movie that came out quite well was Gone Girl. They cut a few clues from the birthday present treasure hunt, altered how the cop gave up on the situation and the real first alibi about reading his old publications in an abandoned garage, but they needed to cut something to hit their time frame and keep viewers interested.

Even if it doesn’t make sense, I’ll still be in line to see the movie. Today, it is more because I’m interested in seeing how they adapt the book and less about the intrigue of the story. Okay, it’s actually pretty refreshing to go into a movie looking for that glorious ignorant experience. Maybe I should just say this, if you’re going to read the book, don’t ruin it by watching the movie first. As for me, I’ll still read the books that I’m interested in, but I might stop rushing to read a book before the movie comes out. Maybe.

About Justin Ochsner

Live Events Marketing and Public Relations. Connect on LinkedIn or Twitter @jochsner4
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