I have this rule about books and movies. If a movie comes out, and it’s based on a book, I read the book first. I refuse to watch the movie version of a story before giving my full attention and consideration to the original written content.
Many times I get excited when I find out a book I’ve already read is being turned into a movie, and I revisit the book in anticipation for this great event. The other scenario is when a book I’ve been meaning to read for awhile is becoming a movie, and the fact gives me the kick in the pants I need to read it. Ahh, the magic of cinema.
Here’s the thing though. I usually never watch the movies. I can’t figure out why. After anticipating, reading, planning, watching all the trailer teasers, analyzing all the choice of cast, reading up on how true to the book the writing will be… I end up never seeing the film. Even Harry Potter for God’s sake… I haven’t seen the last two installments. The same goes for old movies and new blockbusters. If they are based on a book, I am probably cursed never to see them. Titles that have suffered this fate include:
Atonement; by Ian McEwan
To Kill a Mockingbird; by Harper Lee
The Color Purple; by Alice Walker
The Secret Life of Bees; by Sue Monk Kidd
The Scarlet Letter; by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Life of Pi; by Yann Martel
The Hunger Games; by Suzanne Collins
Jane Eyre; by Charlotte Brontë
The Time Traveller’s Wife; by Audrey Niffenegger
Water for Elephants; by Sara Gruen
The Golden Compass; by Philip Pullman
Sense and Sensibility; by Jane Austen
I’m going to stop, because I’m getting dizzy.
There are too many to list and remember. The list goes from years ago up to the present and includes a wide variety of titles. What is wrong with me? Is it because the movies I have seen (by accident) never lived up to my expectations? There are so many disappointing adaptations out there.
The only way to stop the curse, I think, is to face it head on. I’m hoping to break the cycle with Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook. I am tired of missing out on the movies, and I also hate watching film award shows when I’ve never seen any of the nominees. Maybe I’ll even go see it today. That is after a few failed attempts to see it already…