6 July 2017

10 Disappointing Book to Movie Adaptations

We hate bad movie adaptations almost as much as we love to complain, and in May we talked about our favourite adaptations so naturally we've compiled a list of some of the most disappointing. These are in no particular order... comment your own below.

This book had a ton of potential for a movie adaption as I read the entire thing in ~2 days and bawled my eyes out. It's also set in very film-friendly Wicklow, Ireland so the whole thing should have been beautiful. However, the casting here was TERRIBLE. Don't get me wrong, Hilary Swank is a very talented actress (see Million Dollar Baby) but she does not have a romantic bone in her body and please let's never make her the lead of a romance movie ever again. Other very odd choices were Harry Connick Jr. as a future love interest (what?) and Lisa Kudrow as her "funny friend". I did not enjoy this movie, and what's worse is it barely even made me sad... If you're a sucker for a good cry though I highly recommend the book. *Not adapted by author

 I absolutely love vampire stories and Dracula was one of my favourite books I read through school. I wanted so badly to love this movie but the whole thing was completely ridiculous start to finish. This should have been amazing. Francis Ford Coppola directed it (I am a massive fan of the Godfather series), it had a loaded cast (Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves) but in my opinion it came across like a Shakespearean comedy with a large costume budget. The movie was funny, rather than scary and/or romantic. I'd blame Reeves for this because he has this effect on movies but I think this one was a team effort. While I think this is a terrible adaptation of the book I still recommend watching it because it's a true work of art... just not in a good way. *Not adapted by author ... obviously

I have discussed this book a thousand times on this blog and you all know that I love it but sadly, I did not love the movie. It wasn't terrible, but it was rushed. I was so excited when I heard about this adaptation. I am a huge Julia Roberts fan, I also find Javier Bardem and James Franco, her love interests throughout, incredibly sexy. When adapting a memoir, it's often hard to translate the inner thoughts of the main character  into a screenplay (Wild does this especially well). Ryan Murphy, who wrote the screenplay, didn't do a terrible job of this but he just was trying to cram too much into too short of a movie. 133 minutes is not long enough to show the full year of travelling that Gilbert did, and how her life changed. I think they easily could have broken this into three movies, one for each country, and they likely would have been much better. I would still watch it but I would insist you also read the book. *Not adapted by author

Anne Hathaway ruined this movie for me. Anne Hathaway ruins everything. I loved this book. It has everything I love about fiction in it- a loyal friendship, a love that develops over the course of a long period of time, and a very tragic ending. I also WOULD have said this movie was completely perfect. Dave Nicholls wrote a beautiful screenplay, Lone Scherfig directed a beautiful, almost sepia-toned movie, and Jim Sturgess is amazing (as always). Hathaway was the single worst choice they could have made. I would have loved Michelle Williams, Keira Knightley or even Katherine frigging Heigl. Ugh, it's still a great movie I'm just sour about Hathaway. Definitely a must read. *Adapted by author

This movie is pure garbage. The book was one of my favourite of Sparks' novels and I said years ago when I read it that I couldn't wait for the adaption... thinking something along the lines of The Notebook could be expected. Somewhere along the line, Sparks sold out and they began pumping out movie adaptations of his books without even trying to make them good. This movie is a tragic victim. Teresa Palmer has some potential as an actress but I wouldn't be surprised if we never see anything from this dude ever again. I already forget his name. It's a shame too, because Ross Katz (the director) and Bryan Sipe (the writer) have done some really great projects in the past. *Not adapted by author

Meg and I were INCREDIBLY excited for this movie to come out .. for one I think Ron Howard always does a great job when dealing with a "good story," and this "story of men" is fascinating. I learned so much while reading Nathaniel Philbrick's heavily researched account of these men stranded for months at sea after a sperm whale sunk their ship. I learned about dehydration and starvation, the psychology behind our survival instincts, what makes a good leader, and tons about Nantucket and whaling as a career. NONE of this makes its way into the movie. And not only is it void of any information, but it's also boring as hell. At the very least I would have loved this to be a good B-movie animal horror, but it couldn't even amount to that. *Not adapted by author

OK, I have already written a little bit about my disappointment with this film adaption in my full-length review here, so you can see why it would be on this list. You can't help but feel like Ewan McGregor set himself up for failure ... a Pultizer Prize isn't the easiest thing to adapt, especially when it is your first time directing. My biggest issue with this adaptation is that they leave out a PIVOTAL scene in the movie only because (I assume) Ewan McGregor wasn't comfortable kissing an eight year old.. No one is, but it is very, very important to the Swede's guilt throughout the rest of the narrative. The saving grace of this movie is obviously Dakota Fanning who is amazing, but shout out to Jennifer Connolley who was surprisingly good in this too. *Not adapted by author

This movie is gross and is 100 per cent just an attempt at a blockbuster ... it exploits the people who died in the '96 Everest Disaster, and a lot of their family members denounced the film. I am obsessed with Mt. Everest and especially this expedition thanks to my friend Katie, so I feel like I would have been hard to please regardless. Jon Krakauer (author of Into Thin Air and one of the climbers on the tragic assent) called the movie "total bull." A point he made that I tell everyone is this: when the team tried to mobilize to rescue some of the stranded climbers Krakauer could not get up from his tent.. the movie has his character (played by Michael Kelly) say he can't get up to help save lives because he has snow blindness and is therefore useless .. this is "total bull" .. Krakauer couldn't get up because he was physically exhausted .. but this is something most of us cannot understand because we have no idea how difficult it is to climb Everest.. anyways, instead of sticking to the factual, and traumatic, problem Krakauer faced, Hollywood decided to simplify it.. and because of this you miss an essential moment in Krakauer's experience, and more importantly, in his guilt. *Not adapted by author

I'll start by saying that I thought the child actor in the main role was unbearably annoying. But my biggest complaint about this movie isn't that it stars this kid, or Sandra Bullock for that matter. My biggest complaint is that they completely left out my favourite storyline. The old man who doesn't really speak is introduced, but they never get into his back story. Jonathan Safran Foer writes a lot about the holocaust and about the Second World War, and this is usually incorporated into all of his novels, but unfortunately it wasn't incorporated into the movie adaptation. Foer is so knowledgeable and passionate in his writing about the war that I feel like the movie goer really misses out on this in the movie version. *Not adapted by author

I've also already touched on this adaption in my full-length review of Dave Eggers' book here, but again the main point is that this movie is void of any humour whatsoever. It takes itself 110 per cent seriously and it makes me cringe. I remember even when the trailer came out I had a really hard time getting through it all. Bleck I don't even want to have to write anymore, that's just how I feel about it. *Adapted by author and Jonathan Ponsoldt


  1. I also despise Anne Hathaway. The ONLY thing I can tolerate her is in Princess diaries 1. That's it.

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