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Books + Movie = Happiness

This week, one of my highly anticipated movies of the year comes out: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 comes out. (Don’t get me started on the fact that they broke up this book in half. It was my least favorite book of the series and it wasn’t even that long! $$$$$$$) Then next month The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters. (OMG. Don’t even get me started on how there are THREE movies for one book) I’m super excited for both of them.

I don’t know the exact statistic but it’s safe to say that a lot of movies made are based on books.

I love when books I really enjoy turn into GOOD movies. There is something both very satisfying and slightly disappointing about seeing your favorite book turn into a movie. The thing is that reading a book is a very personal experience. Everyone has their own view of how they visualize the story, the characters, the settings, etc. Even how you would pronounce things and names can vary from person to person. So a movie basically takes the movie creators’ interpretation of how they viewed the book and puts it on the big screen. It doesn’t mean that what is shown is canon but it does become the main visual guide of how the story will be remembered.

The hardest part with book to screen adaptations is how faithful the movie will be to the book. I understand that the two are completely separate entities. You will have people going to see the movies who have no interest in reading the book or have no clue that the movie they are watching is even based on the book. The movie makers have to make these people happy so they have to make the movie so that this audience is able to follow and enjoy the story without being lost. At the same time, the die-hard fans want to see EVERYTHING and they will know when you messed up something or included things that make no sense at all.

There are some movies where I was ok with the changes because it makes sense. Sometimes there are scenes that cannot be transferred from words to screen. This also helps when the actual author is either the screenplay writer or is consulted for help with the script. Then there are times when it makes absolute no sense at all why things were added or left out. It’s almost like the people making the movie forgot that it was a book that made it possible for them to do this and that fans of the book are the reason why it was popular in the first place.

I will say that I absolutely cannot stand when a film reviewer bashes a movie based on a book for doing a certain thing….and it happened EXACTLY like that in the book. Again, as I stated I realize that the book and movie are two different things. But if Harry Potter is annoying you because he’s all teen angsty and you give the movie low marks for it because it doesn’t fit with the other whimsical movies, then sorry for you. That’s what happened in the book! Read the book!

I’m not going to talk about the bad movies based on books I loved because it just makes me sad that they destroyed what could have been really good (Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader *cough cough*).

Instead I’m going to just give a very brief list of books that I have read and the movies (not TV miniseries or shows) based on them that I really enjoyed. (I’m sure I’m missing out on TONS but then this list would super-duper long considering how many books I’ve read.)

The Joy Luck Club

Both are equally moving and I tear up EVERY DAMN TIME I read or watch. There are some things changed but as Amy Tan was involved with the screenplay I am ok with this.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

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Yes, I know that the 5 hour TV miniseries may be better. But MOVIE wise, I adore this version. Yes things are shortened but for me this is a beautiful adaptation. I love the scenery, the music, the camera work, and I ADORE Matthew MacFadyen’s Darcy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1&2 

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The first Harry Potter movie was great (I actually watched it BEFORE reading the book, I know I know) but the last two movies for me REALLY got to the heart and soul of movie. It is the only time I fully endorse splitting into two movies because there is so much they couldn’t leave out.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I adore everything about this movie. It is exactly how I wanted this movie to turn out (Sorry old BBC production). Sadly it went downhill afterwards but this one is just glorious.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Almost everyone had to read this book for high school. And this version does a sensational job of capturing the Roaring 20s. And who better to play Gatsby then Leo? The scene of him with the champagne/fireworks alone is worth it.

Little Women (1994)

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Words cannot describe how much I love this movie. Everything about it is perfect (other than the fact that Jo rejects Christian Bale. WHO REJECTS CHRISTIAN BALE??) and it is one of my favorite adaptation of ALL TIME. I am looking forward if/when I have a daughter and we can read the book and then watch this together. SO GOOD.

What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptations? What’s a good book that should be turned into a movie?

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The Girl Who Waited

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I am not good at waiting. I tend to be a very impatient person. When I want something to happen, I want it to happen now. I want to know what’s going to happen. I don’t like having to wait for things or to find out how it’s all going to turn out. In fact I’m rather annoyed that I have to wait several weeks before this blog post gets posted as I’m scheduling it in advance and not publishing it right away!

I’ve said this before, but I like spoilers. Yes I look at the back of the book when I want to know what happens. I don’t like being caught off guard. I’m not really a good person to go see a suspense movie with because I can’t stand the suspense.

So knowing my personality and preferences, it’s really frustrating when God tells you as an answer to your prayer that he just wants you to wait. “Come on God, really? Do you realize how hard this is? Can’t you just tell me what’s going to happen?” Nope that’s not how God works. He’s not like a genie in a bottle that grants wishes. He’s not going to make things go faster just because we want them to happen now. There’s a reason why he wants us to wait. And it’s usually when we finally stop fighting him and allow him to take over that we begin to realize why.

I have found for me that the best times for me to do my quiet time with God is in the car during my commutes. It’s good because, thanks to the lovely Northern Virginia traffic, since I have to sit in traffic there aren’t usually a lot of distractions that take my focus away. And there have been times, when I get severely frustrated with the slowness of how things that God has promised me seem to be progressing. And I tend to yell at God and just tell him how angry I am at him and how I don’t understand why things are going this way and how I don’t believe that what he says is going to happen…basically everything from Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible.

I want to know what exactly am I waiting on (is it what I want or is it something that has yet to be revealed?) and exactly how long am I supposed to be waiting (days, weeks, months, years? Should I be actively waiting or push it aside and forget about it for now?).

And then because I’m hoarse from yelling, I turn on the radio to fill up the silence. And I swear this song comes on the radio EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME I started to argue with God about having to wait.

And I’ll kneel down,
Wait for now
I’ll kneel down,
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

‘Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

-“I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons

And yes I know that this song has been super popular and every station seems to be playing it, and also the song is quite ambiguous if it’s about waiting for the person you love or about God. But the fact that the song would come on right when I needed it makes me feel more like it’s a small and subtle reminder from God on what I need to do.

  • “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:21-26)

I’m not going to wait for specific things to happen. I’m not going to put my energy, time, or any part of me sitting around waiting for that one day to come for things I want. I can’t waste my life away. Instead I will wait for God. I will wait with God. The difference is that I am giving him the control and not me trying to make something happen on my own. I will allow him to have things happen in his own time frame and not mine because I realize that it is not the right time yet. God’s laid on my heart what he wants me to do and he’s made me a promise of what is to come. Who am I to try and force his hand?

“Child,” [Aslan] replied, “that is why all the rest are now a horror to her. That is what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after…….For the fruit always works – it must work- but it does not work happily for any who pluck it at their own will.” – from THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW by C.S. Lewis

A good explanation of why even though you may want something NOW, it’s better to wait. No matter how it good it may be NOW, wait until it’s time and it will even better than you could possibly imagine.

There are two excellent articles from Relevant Magazine that I have found extremely helpful to me during this time period. The first is “Why Won’t God Hurry Up?”, a question I find myself asking all the time. The other “5 Reasons Why God Makes Us Wait” is kind of ironic for me.  The day that article was published, that morning I had literally just had another “Why God? Why am I waiting? Why am I doing this? Why do I have to wait?” conversation with God when I refreshed Relevant’s homepage and then BOOM! That article then appeared on my screen. It was kind of freaky and comforting all at the same time.

  • “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:24-25)