PRCA 3330: Movies Based on Books… Yeah right.

As an avid book reader, I continue to be disappointed when I come to love a book that ends up being made into a movie. At first, I used to get really excited when this would happen, but the trend recently is to give the movie a completely different ending. To most, this may not seem like a very important issue, but it bothers me beyond belief. What is the point in advertising a movie based on a book when the book’s storyline isn’t properly depicted? It seems to me that if a director isn’t willing to stay true to a book, then the movie should have a different title!

Spoiler alert!

The most recent example of such nonsense is when the movie “Dear John” was released.  After reading the book, I personally viewed this story to be one of the best love stories by Nicolas Sparks.

The moral of the book version is that when you love someone, you want them to be happy even if their happiness comes from someone other than you. This is displayed in the book when John anonymously donates a large amount of money to Savannah’s husband’s cancer treatment.  Because of his generous contribution and undying love for Savannah, her husband conquers his cancer and they live happily ever after, with no interference from John. Much to my dismay, the movie director decided to alter this vital aspect of the storyline when Savannah’s husband tragically dies from cancer.  Also, the movie ending implies the reunion of John and Savannah.  This ending obviously has completely no relevance to the moral of Dear John, the book version.

I am well aware that when creating a movie from a book requires the omission of some scenes and the addition of others, but ones that completely change the book’s message are not well received from the people who took the time to read and enjoy the book. I think that the PR people who promote such movies based on books are being slightly unethical when the movie is unlike the book in major ways.  The book readers go to see the movie because of the book they read and expect the book’s plot line to be represented, not ignored.  These promoters use the popularity of books to draw an interest in their movie and don’t concentrate on the importance of the book’s plot to readers.


Filed under PR Connections: PRCA 3330

5 responses to “PRCA 3330: Movies Based on Books… Yeah right.

  1. Kate Kavanagh

    Hey Carrie!
    I completely agree with what you’re talking about. I remember when the book Twilight came out everyone was crazy to read it. Once you read the book and then viewed the movie it had different scenes and even a few different characters. They should not be able to say the movie is based on the book if they have different messages. I have always loved reading books but this same issue has caused me to have to stay away from those books that could be converted into a movie. It’s hard to do but I hate the differences when you are expecting something to happen and it doesn’t. If I hear from others that they are alike I will then read the book before watching. I do not have much free time right now to read, so I try to fit in a movie or two!

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  3. It is always disappointing when you walk into a move expecting one thing and the complete opposite happens. I remember when the book ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ was also “adapted” for film. Some of the best scenes in the book were eliminated or like you said rewritten. Most of the books that are made into film are already written by accomplished authors who know how to tell a story. When Hollywood writers get rights to the book they completely butcher the story. Why don’t producers pay the book author to write a movie script that is more authentic to the story told in the book? Most of loyal book reading fans would appreciate the “adapted” movies a whole lot more if Hollywood let the authors do the writing.

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  5. It is so funny that you would write this post. I could not agree with you more on this subject. Dear John was one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books, and me and my friends were ‘those girls’ the night that it came out and we went to see it. After about twenty minutes into it, I was so disappointed. I expected so much more from the movie. John was very good looking, do not get me wrong I loved seeing Channing Tatum in action, but overall i expected so much more. Even though I hate it, I know I will continue to go see these movies based on books I have read just because I loved reading the books so much. I still have not seen the Last Song yet with Miley- but I am not going to expect much, that way I wont be as disappointed if it’s a flop!

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