Have you ever read a book and then watched the movie based on it and felt completely disappointed? Although it’s always exciting to see your favorite characters brought to life on the big screen, condensing 300+ pages into two hour or six twenty-minute episodes is pretty difficult, especially considering the different storytelling formats. It’s pretty hard to strike the balance to staying true to the gist of the original story while creating something new that fits well for a different medium and audience. Today, I’ll be sharing a few novels turned into movies or television shows that I thought were pretty well-done both ways.
Anne with an “E” is a Canadian Netflix Original Series based on Anne of Green Gables, a classic children’s literature staple by L.M. Montgomery. Published in 1908, this book is an old favourite and evokes feelings of whimsical nostalgia for many readers who grew up reading about Anne and her adventures. The Netflix series makes quite a few creative decisions and significant deviations form the source material to modernize the story, especially with the inclusion of a more diverse cast and additional characters with their own storylines. However, I personally thought Anne with an “E” still captures the atmosphere and feeling of the original perfectly, and retells the story in a way that resonates with both new viewers and long-time Anne fans. In addition, I also appreciate how the show is able to tackle heavier issues in a thoughtful and impactful manner, while still allowing for lighthearted moments to shine.
Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians is a movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel by the same name, a romantic-comedy centered around various characters tied to Singapore’s rich and influential Young family. Even though I typically think that the book is always much better than the movie adaptation, I think that this movie did a great job of condensing the content of the novel, without it feeling rushed. The book itself feels quite long while the movie feels pretty fast paced, but I think that still works. In my opinion, what the book does much better is having more expansion on the three characters besides Nick and Rachel, while the movie dives more deeply into their relationship. The book features narration for the other family members, while the film centers around the rom-com nature of the main romance. In addition, I thought that the movie did a spectacular job at capturing and bringing to life the opulence and glamour of the settings described in the novel.
The Sun Is Also A Star
The Sun Is Also A Star is contemporary romance movie based on Nicola Yoon’s popular YA novel of the same name. The story takes over the course of one day, twenty four hours, and showcases both a compelling romance and the individual struggles of the two main characters with immigration, family, and finding yourself. I think that the time frame helped make it easier to convert the book to a movie, since there wasn’t too much time to squish down into the two hours, and works almost equally well in both mediums. However, one major thing that prefer in the book over the movie is Nicola Yoon’s unique writing style, which I thought really contributed to the tone of the story and helped further characterize both love interests through the narration.