Read On! The Movie Was Better

When comparing a book to the movie (or TV series) based on it, I strongly prefer the book about 98% of the time. The book is often richer, more immersive, and more satisfying than the visual interpretation could ever be. That is, except for that 2%. In those cases, the movie surpasses it’s written counterpart and holds a dearer place in my heart.

“The Princess Bride” may be my favorite movie of all time. The book is not even in my top 30 favorite books. William Goldman wrote both the book and the screenplay, but his screenplay in the hands of Rob Reiner and the amazing cast is, quite simply, magic. The book is good, but it doesn’t lend itself to heart swells or random quotes at parties.

Adam Rex’s “The True Meaning of Smekday” is written as an essay contest entry by the main character Gratuity “Tip” Tucci. She details her trip across the country with a fugitive alien who has given himself the name J. Lo. Eventually, Tip saves the world (as one does). The book is fine, but it doesn’t have the whimsy and joy of its movie adaptation “Home.” To be fair, the two works are vastly different and are aimed at different audiences and age groups. But like “The Princess Bride,” “Home” has a cast whose voicework and quotable lines makes it something to watch over and over. (We won’t talk about the terrible TV show based on the movie.)

I was so annoyed by the writing and art in the “Locke & Key” graphic novel series by Joe Hill that I couldn’t finish it. The Netflix series (also written by Hill), on the other hand, is imaginative and binge-worthy. It sparked fascinating conversations with friends and family, particularly Ep. 3 in Season 1. I can’t wait to watch the new season.

Whether I like the book or movie comes down to how the work makes me feel and how deep that feeling goes.

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