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Lit Lovers Lane

Inveterate, incurable readaholic, who blogs about books and what's in 'em. If readaholism is a deadly disease, no problem. Couldn't imagine a better way to go.

Ever Wish They'd Just Stop Making Books Into Movies?

When I bought the book 84, Charing Cross Road on Amazon, I also discovered it had been made into a movie featuring powerhouse actors Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft as Frank Doel and Helen Hanff. So, after inhaling the book like a bag of my fave potato chips,  I simply couldn’t resist plunking down even more money for the DVD. With such a pleasurable reading experience, I would have staked my life on the film being incredible.


Luckily, no opportunity to gamble with my fate presented itself, because while the movie 84, Charing Cross Road wasn’t a flop, it also wasn’t exactly cinematic genius. Frankly, it was a bit of a letdown for me.


Drat! Yet again, I had been sucked into witnessing a book I adored reduced to a movie that sorely disappointed. Actually, there has only been one movie that lived up to the books for me so far…Gone With the Wind. And I saw that when I was a kid.


So why the heck do I keep going back for more frustration? More often than not, either one of a few things happens:


  •      The chosen actors aren’t how I envisioned the characters
  •      The fantasy world I created doesn’t jibe with the movie world
  •      The basic story is completely changed
  •      The story is over-simplified

So, why do I let my enthusiasm for a good read outweigh the near certainty that the movie will obliterate the near perfect fantasy world I’ve create around a book?


My only answer is that when a story catches my heartstrings, I am almost powerless to resist revisiting it and seeing the characters come to life before my eyes. One day — soon I hope — I will realize my fantasy characters and settings already are alive right before my eyes….my mind’s eye. And, I will quit while I’m ahead. Unfortunately, I write this even as I long to see One Day and The Fault in Our Stars. :(


Anyone else struggle with this problem? What movies have disappointed you? Which lived up to your expectations? Why?