So Many Adaptations…So Little Interest

One mark of a popular story is the number of adaptations that it has inspired. Think of how many Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, and Cinderella adaptations you’ve seen. This includes books and movies.

I don’t know if I’m breaking some kind of Shakespeare Society rule by saying this, but I think that adaptations based on the plays can be gateways. You might be surprised how many books and movies are actually based on these plays. If you love one of those, then you already have one foot in the door. But you have to choose wisely.

Here are some popular Shakespeare adaptions that you should check out if you’re looking for something to read/watch next. These are my own opinions, so please tell me if you don’t agree or you think I’ve missed something. I’ve tried to include a variety of options for those who might be interested in finding out more about these Shakespeare-inspired books and movies.

Here we go…


BOOKS

Ophelia by Lisa Klein, published in 2006 – The story of Hamlet is told from a woman’s perspective. While the author employs a different point of view and plot structure, she gets major points because she leaves the original story line intact.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/293583.Ophelia?ac=1&from_search=true

The Taming of the Drew by Stephanie Kate Strohm, published in 2016 – The tables are turned in this story as the girl set out to tame the boy before he ruins her chances of playing the lead in her school’s next play. I’m a fan of authors who can tweak one detail of a story and create some entirely new. This The Taming of the Shrew adaptation is spot on!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25877358-the-taming-of-the-drew?ac=1&from_search=true

Enter Three Witches by Caoline B. Cooney, published in 2007 – This author delivers a surprising retelling of Macbeth from Lady Mary’s perspective. It’s truly refreshing to see one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies from a new set of eyes.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/601436.Enter_Three_Witches?from_search=true

Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty by Jody Gehrman, published in 2008 – This book is inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Anything. It’s full of YA romance, comedy, and coffee. That’s a winning combination!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1248692.Confessions_of_a_Triple_Shot_Betty

Ariel by Grace Tiffany, published in 2005 – This adaptation of The Tempest is told through the eyes of the wild and powerful spirit, Ariel. The author explores the darker aspects in the original play and sheds fresh light on this classic tale.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/238120.Ariel?ac=1&from_search=true

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, published in 2003 – Jane Smiley has earned multiple awards for her modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Family and farm life are at the heart of this heart-changing story.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41193.A_Thousand_Acres?from_search=true

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, published in 2012 – This well-known rendition of Romeo and Juliet combines the classic story with zombies. The young couples fight for love is combined with their fight for survival. Plus the fangirling potential is high!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15842439-warm-bodies?from_search=true

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Clarence Palmer, published in 2010The Tempest gets a steampunk makeover in this beautiful retelling of Shakespeare’s play. A young man trapped aboard a Zepplin drifts between the real world and a dream world where he fights for his love’s life.


MOVIES

Macbeth (2015) – If you’re looking for a Shakespeare adaptation that doesn’t leave bloody war scenes to the imagination, look no further. I respect the directors of this movie for bringing out the dark themes in Shakespeare’s original play and creating a movie that appeals to modern viewers.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2884018/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Chimes at Midnight (1966) – This classic movie includes story lines from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts I and II, Henry V, and the Merry Wives of Windsor. The result is a completely new piece of art that circles around the iconic character, Falstaff.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059012/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The Lion King (1994) – Yeah Disney! This iconic Disney movie is loosely based on Hamlet. Simba stands in for the prince who must seek revenge for his father’s death and take back his “crown.” You might have trouble finding the original play underneath the cute animals and family friendly themes. But rest assured, it’s there.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Romeo and Juliet (2013) – I deliberately saved this movie for last. I grew up in a world where the 1996 version of this play was considered the best thing ever. While I admit that I like watching the two young lovers in that adaptation, I just couldn’t get into the updated feel of the movie. In comparison, this latest adaptation of Romeo and Juliet simply took my breath away. From the costumes to the acting to the sets, I just loved it! I dare you not to cry during the death scene!


So what’s your favorite Shakespeare adaptation? How does it compare to the original play?

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The Many Faces of Cinderella

I guess I’m in a fairy tale kind of mood this week. My favorite fairy tale has to be Beauty and the Beast…but Cinderella has to be in the top five. I recently came into ownership of three different books based on this beloved fairy tale. I was surprised at the vast difference between these books, so I thought it would be fun to read them all at once and take a look at them side by side. For fun, I’m going to throw in some popular movie renditions of this story as well. I will be comparing these books and movies to the original fairy tale:

1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

2. Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

3. Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley

4. Ever After starring Drew Barrymore

5. Disney’s Cinderella

6. The TV movie Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister 

***Here’s your warning: you’re going to get indepth summaries and spoilers for all of these. If you think that you might enjoy reading or watching one of these for the first time, don’t read this post.***

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In case you need a refresher, here is the original tale: 

A rich man’s wife dies when her daughter is young. The girl is close to her mother, but not close to her father. She tells her daughter before dying that she needs to remain good and pious.

After a time, the girl’s father marries a woman who has two daughters. All three are characterized as possessing beauty and black hearts. They treat the girl cruelly and turn her into a servant. The girl’s father does nothing to defend her.

The girl’s stepsister gave her the nickname Cinderella, because she starts sleeping next to the dirty kitchen hearth.

Cinderella visits her mother’s gave every day to cry and pray. One day, her father visits the fair.  Her stepsisters ask for dresses and jewels, but Cinderella wants the first twig that brushes his hat. She plants that twig on her mother’s grave and a hazel tree.

Enter magic: a white bird rested on the tree. It had the power to give Cinderella anything she wished for.

The king invites all of the beautiful girls in the land to a three-day festival. He wishes to find a bride for his son. Cinderella is called upon to help her stepsisters get ready for the ball, hoping that she will be allowed to attend.

Her stepmother tells her that if she picks up all of the lentils out of the hearth, she will be allowed to go. Twice, Cinderella is forced to perform this task. Twice, she calls upon pigeons to help her. Her stepmother still refuses to let her go to the ball, because she doesn’t have anything to wear and she doesn’t know how to dance.

Cinderella runs to her mother’s grave and asks the bird to give her a gold and silver dress and shoes. She walks into the ball alone. Her step family does not recognize her, but the Prince is entranced by her. He refuses to dance with anyone else.

The Prince offers to escort Cinderella home at the end of the night, but she runs away and hides in a pigeon coop. Cinderella’s father comes by and the Prince tells her what happened. He wonders if the girl could be his daughter, but they find no one in the coop.

The same thing happens again on the next night. Cinderella eludes the Prince and her father by climbing a pear tree. On the third night, Cinderella tried to run away. However, the Prince had poured pitch on the stairs to trap her. She pulls free, but leaves a golden slipper behind.

The next morning, the Prince takes the golden shoe to Cinderella’s father, who had tried to help him find the mysterious maiden before, and explains that he will only wed the girl whose foot fits the slipper.

The stepmother tries to trick him into taking one of her daughters. She cuts off the toes of her first daughter, but the birds perching in Cinderella’s hazel tree warn the Prince. The next stepsister has her heel cut off, but the birds warn the Prince again.

When the Prince returns to Cinderella’s father, he admits that there is one more girl in the house. However, he describes her as his “deformed little Cinderella.” His wife also tries to dissuade the Prince.

However, the Prince insists on seeing her and the shoe fits! He whisks her off to the palace to become his bride. The birds in Cinderella’s hazel tree sing joyfully as they ride past.

Cinderella’s stepsisters wish to prosper from her marriage. They show up at the church on the wedding day, but pigeons peck out their eyes. The tale ends by explaining that everything was set right after they were punished for their wickedness.

And Cinderella and her Prince live happily ever after!

Okay, so let’s take a look at these renditions:

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Okay, so let’s take a look at these renditions: 

THE MANY FACES OF CINDERELLA RENDITIONS

Each of these stories draws on the original Cinderella tale, and yet each are different in their own right. The author’s imaginations bring them alive in new and interesting ways, and I love each and every one of them!

What’s your favorite fairy tale and/or rendition? Do you prefer the original Cinderella story or a modern rendition?

 

 

Fairy Tales

I’d like to take a look at how much fairy tales have changed since they were first canonized. When I say fairy tales, I don’t mean fantasy, children’s stories, or anything else that’s out there today. I  want to talk about the evolution of how fairy tales are portrayed.

Everyone knows that traditional fairy tales were used as cautionary children’s tales. Little Red Riding Hood is an obvious example of this. It is a cautionary tale about a child who wandered too far from home, off the forest path. In the original story, the wolf succeeds in delaying the child’s journey. While she is off picking flowers, the wolf goes to her grandmother’s house, eats the old woman, and then waits there and eats the child when she arrives. A huntsman soon comes along and rescues the two by cutting the wolf’s stomach open. Then they throw stones into its stomach and drown it.

Do you remember that part? When I was a child, that kind of image was deemed “graphic.” I remember being told that the wolf was vanquished before he was able to eat anyone.

Even if you remember that ending, I bet you don’t remember this next part…

The next time that Red Riding Hood goes to visit her grandmother, another wolf tries to call her off the path. She doesn’t let him. When she arrives safely at her grandmother’s house, they bar the door. The grandmother had been cooking sausages earlier that day. The child throws the cooking water into the trough. The smell attracts the wolf, who is on the roof waiting for Little Red Riding Hood to exit. When he bends down to take a long whiff of sausages, he slips and drowns in the water. Red Riding Hood went home safely later that day and no one ever bothered her again.

So what could children learn from this frightening tale? To follow their parent’s instructions. To not leave the path. To not talk to strangers. To not dawdle when they have a task to do. To be ever vigilant.

Those are good things to teach children. I was able to deduce that from the story when I was a child, but I never heard about any of this “eating people alive” or “cutting open and drowning wolves” business. My childhood was full of happy endings without all that gore…In short, a Disney childhood. Those stories spoke to me.

I miss that.

Not everyone sees the morals in happy-ending-for-all type children’s stories. These stories are still full of good morals: kindness, caution, bravery, etc. However, unlike the original Brothers Grimm tales, they don’t use terror to drive their message home. Instead, they reflect the joy of childhood back at their readers and watchers. They are full of light and love and good magic. I think that childhood has its own type of magic. Wouldn’t you agree? There is nothing wrong with stories that are full of it.

Sadly, though, I see the golden age of my childhood vanishing from children’s book shelves. Now they are full other messages, like feminism. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against strong women who can stand on their own two feet and rescue themselves. I just see a little too much focus on that in children’s literature and films, and in the media that surround them.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Which do you prefer: the original fairy tales or modern renditions? Where do you think these tales are going now? What is your favorite fairy tale and, if you care to dig a little deeper, why? What does it mean to you?

Joseph Campbell and Beyond

I smile when I hear someone say, “That movie sounded just like that other one” or “That author stole that idea!” These words usually come to mind: “Well, all stories are derived from one. There are no new ideas, so there must be some similarities between these stories.”

At least, that’s what I was taught in English class. Some authors do take other people’s ideas – that’s called plagiarism. However, I firmly believe that there are no new ideas. It all depends on the way that authors spin these ideas to create their own stories. I haven’t been able to gain enough scholarly know-how to form an air-tight argument to support this theory, but there is one fascinating literary topic that I have been able to study…archetypes.

The literal definition of an archetype is “a typical example of certain person of thing; a prototype.” The idea of a psychological archetype has been traced as far back as Socrates.  However, I am more interested in the modern idea of literary archetypes that have been  refined by great thinkers like the philosopher Carl Jung and the mythologist Joseph Campbell. These men translated the idea of psychological archetypes, or “a collective unconscious,” and applied them to books.

Literary archetypes are models or reoccurring patterns found throughout all literature. These archetypes move through time and place. They are universally understood ideas. I don’t want to write a term paper on this subject, but I’m going to share some ideas of common literary archetypes. I’m sure that you’ve discovered these for yourself, even if you didn’t know what they were at the time. They come in many shapes, forms, and sizes, but I’ll just touch on a few here:

Archetypal Characters:

  1. The Hero: This character is usually considered the protagonist (simple check: the protagonist is the character that undergoes the most amount of change or growth throughout the story). This character possesses all of the necessary skills to solve whatever problem he faces and he will, eventually, step up to save the day.
  2. The Innocent: This character is also known as the Dreamer. In classic fairy tales, this character is the spotless and naïve princess who needs to be saved by a dashing young hero. The Innocent character is not tempted towards darkness and can’t understand it, which can make her seem more desirable towards both heros and villains.
  3. The Villain: The Villain character can take different forms depending on how he is perceived, or interacts with, the hero. This is the character who wants the hero to fail in his quest and wreaks the most amount of havoc on the hero and the innocents in the hero’s world.
  4. The Mentor: This character can also take multiple forms. The mentor is the character that the hero runs to for help. Whether he is a father figure or an old wizard, the mentor’s aid is indispensable.
  5. The Trickster: This character is a prime example of a group of characters called “challengers.” While the trickster isn’t always evil, he is most often portrayed as a character who stands in the way of the hero reaching his goal.
  6. The Rebel:  The rebel is a character who is alienated from society or from the cultural norms of the time. He can take many forms (i.e. the hermit vs. the leader of the revolution) and can serve either side, good or evil.

Archetypal Themes:

  1. *Light vs. Dark: This is perhaps the most universally understood, and oldest, theme found in literature. This theme represents the struggle against good and evil. It can be shown either literally or figuratively.
  2. Old vs. New: This is another classic theme found throughout literature. Think of all the stories where revolutionaries fight about an old government, the environment clashes with civilization, youths rebel against adults – these stories all fall under this theme.
  3. Rags to Riches: This is the classic pauper to prince story line. This theme does not have to involve the hero or refer to monetary gain. It refers to a sudden and intense reversal of fate. As such, Riches to Rags can also be used.
  4. Isolation or Alienation: Here is where the Rebel and the Hero are often used to refer to the same person. This theme can be used at the beginning or end of story, or throughout the whole thing. It can represent both good and evil. It is an often used, but complex, theme.

Archetypal Events:**

  1. Call to Adventure: Something bad happens and the hero is called to action. This involves him leaving his normal life or “the ordinary world” in some way. The hero refers to the main protagonist. He will not always be alone, but he will make the next decision.
  2. Refusal of the Call: Often, but not always, the hero will refuse the call at first. After all, not many people have the drive or the ability to run straight into danger. Something or someone will have to drive him towards the Unknown World.
  3. (Supernatural) Aid: This is where the Mentor enters the scene. His aide is not always supernatural, but it will help the hero decide what road to take.
  4. Crossing the Threshold: This refers to the first step that the hero takes on his journey. It may involve something as big as stepping through a portal into another world or something as small as leaving the town limits.
  5. The Road of Trials: This event encompasses the majority of the book. The hero and his allies meet friends, enemies, and challenges along the way. There has to be multiple setbacks and triumphs involved in this event. The hero cannot reach his goal without enduring some hardship.
  6. The Ultimate Ordeal: The hero always has one main goal in mind. There is one challenge that his journey has been leading up to. Here is where he makes his final stand with his allies.
  7. The Reward: After the ordeal is over and the hero claims victory, he receives his reward. The reward isn’t always what he expected, but whatever it is – an object, an idea, whatever – it will be worth the journey in some way.
  8. The Road Back: This is the book’s denouement. Here the hero has to decide if he wants to return to his old life and then begin the journey if he wishes to.
  9. The Ressurection: Often, the hero will have to go through one more personal challenge before he can return home. This may involve an unforeseen complication or a change of heart.
  10. Back to the Ordinary World: The hero and his allies return home with the prize that will fix everything!

**Together, these events make up what Joseph Campbell called the monomyth. Today, we call it “The Hero’s Journey.” **

You see, Joseph Campbell believed that the monomyth wasn’t a magical template. Steps can be removed, moved around, and tweaked. However, it does includes the archetypal events that can be considered the building blocks for virtually any piece of fictional literature. Take a minute and think of your favorite book.

Do you see the elements of Campbell’s monomyth in it? Also, can you think of one classic Disney animated movie that doesn’t follow “The Hero’s Journey”?

Why is this so familiar? As I mentioned earlier, archetypes are images and ideas that are universal. Everyone can understand the hero figure, the struggle of light vs. dark, and the entire hero’s journey. These reoccurring themes are easy to understand, because they are tied to our very existence. Whether authors write what they know people will recognize or whether readers are the ones who pick up a book and make the connection themselves, is question that we will likely never be able to satisfactorily answer. I would say yes to both.

You might still be saying, “I see the connections you’re talking about, but why would you want to label all literature with something as simple as ‘The Hero’s Journey’?” I see what you’re saying. There are millions of variations that authors can make to Campbell’s monomyth, but the connections cannot be denied. I’m going to take this even one step further and say that I like to label all literature with one theme – Good vs. Evil *(see Light vs. Dark from earlier.)  That can be even harder to comprehend. Again, why would someone want to ignore all of the differences between various works of literature in order to put them in the same basket?

Why? It’s because it allows me to say what I said earlier: “All stories are derived from one.” I don’t think “The Hero’s Journey” is the smallest building block of literature. The smallest block is good vs. evil. Isn’t that the daily struggle everyone faces in their consciousness and unconsciousness? Isn’t that the simplest concept that is universally understood?

Yes!

That is why there are common threads between every single piece of fiction. If you can recognize that common ground, then you can step back and understand the archetypes used in literature, and then, I believe, you can fully appreciate the twists and turns that authors incorporate into their own stories.  The struggle between good and evil is at the center of every book. It’s the way that an author chooses to show that struggle that makes spending a whole afternoon reading worthwhile.

I’m going to wrap up with some examples of archetypes in literature. And because I am who I am, I’m not going to use traditional examples (Star Wars, The Hobbit, etc.) Instead, I’ve chosen two uniquely different YA books: Eragon by Christopher Paolini and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Two very different stories, right? We’ll see!

And I hope that you’ll be able to notice the archetypes in your favorite books now and, perhaps, even use them when you write. Share your thoughts below. Did you find this helpful? Did you learn something new? Or is this information “old hat” for you? What familiar archetypes have you picked up on in books and movies? Have you seen another version of “The Hero’s Journey” in your favorite stories? Would you use Campbell’s template to write a movie-worthy book or would you rather let your readers discover the universal truths in your story on their own?

***Caution: Major Spoilers

Eragon

  1. The hero, Eragon, is called out of his normal life when he finds a dragon egg.
  2. Eragon doesn’t want to leave his Uncle’s farm. Even when the dragon hatches, he hides it in the forest so that he can stay. It is another outside action, the death of this uncle, which pushes him to accept the call.
  3. The mysterious Brom, who knows quite a bit about dragons and dragon riders, becomes Dragon’s mentor.
  4. Oddly enough, Brom also acts as the Threshold Guarden as he shepherds Eragon on his journey into the unknown world outside of Palancar Valley.
  5. Eragon faces many dangers as he journeys towards his goal: the Varden. Along the way, he has to battle storms, environmental hardships, monsters, and the King’s henchmen. He also comes in contact with more allies. He is changed by the knowledge that he can perform magic and the death of his mentor and closest ally, Brom.
  6. The hero manages to get through every obstacle until he reaches the Varden. The ultimate ordeal is a battle that takes place between Eragon and the Varden fighters and the King’s henchmen. Eragon is forced to go head-to-head with his most dangerous adversary yet, a Shade. He is able to defeat his enemy in the end and ensures victory for the Varden.
  7. Eragon does not receive riches as a reward. He gains the knowledge that he helped his allies win the battle. On top of that, he wins the personal reward of finding a powerful teacher.
  8. Since this is the first book in an epic series, Eragon does not make a physical journey back to his home. This physical step of “The Hero’s Journey” is cut out.
  9. Eragon’s resurrection moment comes when his new teacher revives him from the brink of death. Eragon receives a new purpose in life: to journey into the Elves’ forest to find his teacher . He has become a new person: confident, selfless, a true hero.
  10. The hero has now fully accepted his role as a Dragon Rider. He sets off to find his teacher with the knowledge he has gained and the hope that he will be able to use it to destroy the Evil King someday.

Twilight

  1. Bella is called out of her normal life when she has to leave her mother and move to Forks to live with her father.
  2. Although she has to move, Bella is reluctant to accept the change. She is also hesitant to make contact with the unknown world, Edward’s world.
  3. Jacob acts as Bella’s mentor when he informs her about the myth concerning his tribe. This leads Bella to learn the truth about the Cullens.
  4. Bella steps over the threshold when she makes the decision to trust Edward, even though he is a vampire.
  5. Bella’s journey involves a series of ups and downs that includes gaining the respect of his family, dealing with jealousy from other guys, and trying to balance her relationships with Edward and Jacob. She does gain real allies along the way in the form of Edward and most of his family.
  6. The true villain of the book doesn’t arrive until another group of vampires discovers the relationship between Edward and Bella. The ultimate ordeal occurs when Bella and her allies have to destroy a vampire that tries to kill Bella. Bella doesn’t destroy the villain herself, but she does have to face him in an act of selfless bravery and she suffers the most throughout the ordeal.
  7. Bella’s reward is, quite literally, her life.
  8. Bella’s journey back to the “ordinary world” beings when she wakes up in the hospital.
  9. While there, she is physically resurrected. She also undergoes another type of resurrection when she reaffirms her love for Edward. She has become a different person and she will fight for what she wants.
  10. Bella returns to Forks with Edward by her side for prom. She has not returned to “normal,” but she has managed to combine her world and the unknown world. She has returned with her prizes: her life and her love.

 

 

Books vs. Movies

So about this whole books versus movies debate…

It always seems to come up when someone in Hollywood decides they’re going to make a movie based on a popular book. If you haven’t heard this before, there are two radical camps of people. There are those who walk around saying, “Don’t be so stupid! Of course the movie can’t be just like the book. Why are you so upset?”

Then there are those people who say, “Why did I go see that movie? They changed everything! The author must be furious!”

I’m not going to choose sides. What I’m about to say is all-encompassing, but I think very few people are going to disagree with me: If you are a book lover and you really really like a book that has been turned into a movie, you can’t not care. You just can’t. It doesn’t matter if the movie is good or bad. However, you can choose to have different opinions about the book and the movie. You don’t have to let a horrible movie ruin your entire night.

You have a choice.

I am a book lover, and I love to see my favorite books turned into movies. While there have been times that screenwriters just don’t do books justice and I wish I could re-write their scripts myself (yes, I’m talking about Inkheart), that’s my personal opinion. The majority of movie adaptations are not that bad.

I had to face this recently after being told by several people that I shouldn’t go see the new Divergent movie. “It’s not worth it! They’re changing everything. They’re changing the entire ending of the series…” and on and on. Yes, I know that’s alarming, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I actually enjoyed the movie. I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t spent the entire car ride there thinking about Roth’s book series and if the movie would live up to that. My husband, Kevin, was in the car with me. He has never read the Divergent book series, so he simply couldn’t understand the turmoil that was going through my mind. He had an innocent mind.

It is impossible to avoid this struggle if you let yourself become attached to movie-worthy books. If you would allow me to give you one piece of advice, however, it’s that you have to try to detach yourself from the book for a short period of time. I know, I know, you think that’s impossible. But it is possible.

It’s actually crucial to your movie viewing experience.

You have to quiet that little voice in the back of your head that says, “That’s not how it happened in the book,” and you have to do it before you enter the movie theater.

Here is how I usually handle this. I set aside time to think about a book in the weeks, days, or hours before I go to see the movie based on it. If there are previous movies in the series, I reserve a day to catch up on them. Before that, though, I allow myself to become re-immersed in the world of the book, because it’s a wonderful piece of fiction in its own right. If I really love a book, I love to think about it, discuss it, go back and read my favorite chapters, and even re-write certain parts of it. I love to spend time in that author’s world.

I let my mind wander through the familiar pages of the book…but only if I can work up the determination of mind to open that world inside of a “room.” Before I enter the movie theatre, I have to step outside of the room, shut the door behind me, and lock it. Why? The two worlds cannot exist within the same room. The movie belongs in the adjacent room. The two rooms are connected, but the door remains shut. That’s true whether the movie follows the events of the book or not.

This allows me to enjoy the movie as a separate piece of fiction. As long as the door to the book’s world remains locked, I can say, “Oh, wow, that was a great scene!” or “Why did they do that?” But my opinion of the movie is not based solely on its relationship to the parent book. Then, I give that night, or even better, the whole next day, to just think about the movie. I know if something is banging on the door in that room, just begging to be let out, but I keep it locked up tight for a few days.

Then, only after I’ve thought about the movie from every angle, do I open the door and allow the thoughts about what the director did or did not change to enter my mind. Thoughts could go racing through my head for days. “I loved that scene. I can’t believe they didn’t put it in! Why did he change that?! Well, at least he didn’t get rid of my favorite supporting character. He just changed her last name, her physical attributes, and her entire backstory…” and so on and so forth.

Sound familiar?

It may be difficult  to remember sometimes, but, in the end, it’s important to remember that the book hasn’t changed, even if the movie was a huge disappointment. The book hasn’t been harmed. The movie is a separate thing. And just because you have multiple copies of the book on your shelf doesn’t meant that you have to keep a copy of the dvd right next to them, or even in your house if you’re that upset about it (again, Inkheart 😛 .)

That’s just the way I see it. Yes, it’s okay to be upset, but you don’t have to let it ruin your whole movie-watching experience. And please, PLEASE, don’t let a movie ruin a book for you.

That’s how I handle these situations. If you have a different approach or opinion, please fell free to comment. I’d love to start a discussion about this. If you have any book-turned-movies that you just love to death or love to hate, please share those as well. Just remember to keep in mind: the book is always better than the movie, and that’s a fact!