When it comes to picking up a book or seeing the movie version, there is one correct answer. Books are more vivid and give you the ability to imagine the world and the characters for yourself, allowing yourself to be immersed in the world in a way a screen never can.
I used to be OK with book-to-movie adaptations. "The Hunger Games" adaptation was decent. As a Hunger Games stan I thought "Catching Fire" was a really well done movie that I enjoyed almost as much as the book.
But then "Divergent" was released. Shailene Woodley, who played the character Tris, ruined book-to-movie adaptations for me for good. I couldn’t take the movie seriously and spent more time laughing at the bad acting than I did enjoying the action being brought to life.
Then, my worst nightmare occurred. Shailene Woodley started being casted for other books I loved as well. Seeing "The Fault In Our Stars" feels like a fever dream. At least her acting was better, but seeing her portraying Tris changed my perception of her forever.
Maybe I just really don’t like Shailene Woodley, but I actually thought she did a good job in "Big Little Lies," a book-to-TV adaptation that surprisingly wasn’t horrible. As an actress, she has definitely progressed, but Divergent will always be my favorite go-to movie when I need a good laugh.
Next, think of "Twilight." I physically cringe every time I see Edward call Bella “spider monkey”, but somehow it was easier to read in writing then see acted out. Some things are just better left to our imaginations.
Furthermore, I don’t understand why books would even be made into movies in the first place. If the author intended for it to be a movie, they would have written a screenplay instead. Books are meant to be read as books, not seen on a screen in a lazier manner.
"The Great Gatsby" is known for its elaborate details. While it’s great to see that brought to life, it was so much more impactful and fun to imagine when reading. The thrill of "The Hunger Games" was good, but it was much better in writing then on screen. Being able to put yourself into the eyes of a character is so much more impactful than watching the character exist outside of your mind.
There are only a couple good book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen that receive a pass. "The Godfather" and "Little Women" (2019) are two of them. The film bros are right about "The Godfather," it deserves all of the credit it got. While a little slow at times, the movie is able to cut through the slow parts better than the book is. "The Godfather" was the first book-to-movie adaptation that I enjoyed and therefore one exception to my belief.
"Little Women" had me in an emotional mess in that movie theater. One of the last movies I saw before the coronavirus shut down the movie theater, it stuck with me more than the book and I have forced my family and friends to watch it with me numerous times.
So I guess there are some good adaptations, but overall book plots should remain on paper and in our imaginations. Every once in a while for an award winning or super popular book is understandable, but Hollywood is obsessed with converting every book into a movie. I want to see more original content, not more remakes.