Let me preface this by saying for every film adaption of a book I haven’t read I’ve seen, there have been a fair share of those I’ve seen based on books I have read. This post mostly has to do with the former thanks to some thoughts I had upon seeing the movie adaption of “Beautiful Creatures” this weekend.
It’s no secret that for every movie that tries to follow the book(s) to the letter, there are plenty that put their own spin on things. As many reviews will tell you, “Beautiful Creatures” is yet another one of those movies, much to the displeasure of fans of the books. Honestly, for me, it was an enjoyable flick to watch with a friend (also a non-reader) on a Friday night. Nothing I’d see again anytime soon, but enjoyable enough as a film on its own merits.
I ran into a similar situation a few years ago when “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant” came out in theaters. Once again, same situation: I went with friends, us this time not even knowing it was based on a book, and spent the time watching what was a decent film that evening. In both cases, while not the greatest movies I’ve seen, both were watchable and not complete time/money wasters. But the same thing occurred: Fans of the “Cirque du Freak” series weren’t satisfied.
It’s the same thing every time a book or series is developed for film. It’s nothing new at this point. People who are fans of books that make the transition to film pretty much know nowadays that not everything’s gonna be perfect. Yet there will always be those who complain because of this fact. Stuff like Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter series, and even Twilight, no matter how close they seem to get to the original material are always nitpicked.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I count myself lucky that I don’t read the books before the film. For me, if the film can get me interested IN the books, then that’s a much bigger accomplishment than it being a close adaption of the book. Or, heck, if a movie is part of an ongoing series of films, then it may be enough to keep me coming back.
While in hindsight I’ve heard some not great things in regards to the Beautiful Creatures series (such as it being Twilight with witches – sorry, but no thanks), after walking out of the movie I was left with some sense of curiosity towards the series. So, to the readers out there who chastise people for liking a movie that’s not a near perfect adaption: We’re not all readers. Let us non-readers enjoy the movie for what we see it as: JUST a movie. It may just steer us towards those books you love so much.