Movies that fans think are better than the books
By Mackenzie Shand
September 2, 2023
Mister D: By reading bazillions of web search results, I can share some general arguments for and against movies being better than books. Some of the pros of watching movies over reading books are:
- Movies are quicker than books. You can watch a movie in about two hours, but it may take you several days to finish a book.
- You can watch a movie with a friend, but you can’t read a book with someone else. Movies are more social and interactive than books.
- You don’t have to concentrate on a movie and there is less need for your own imagination. Movies show you everything visually and audibly, so you can just sit back and enjoy the experience.
- Acting is an art form. Movies can showcase the talents and emotions of actors and actresses, which can enhance the story and the characters.
Of course. there are cons, but hey, who cares about them? Thinking is involved. So let’s look at these movies MSN compiled of, that fans liked better than the books.
- The Godfather
Many consider the Academy Award-winning film The Godfather to be one of the greatest ever made. The book, however, doesn’t receive quite the same degree of accolades. While the novel is considered good, there are elements of the movie that take the story to another level. The film keeps the focus more on the main characters and adds atmosphere and action to the mafia-centered plot.
The book Jaws, written by Peter Benchley, is a New York Times Bestseller, but it never reached the same level of fame as the eponymous film co-written by Benchley and Carl Gottlieb and directed by Steven Spielberg. The story’s eye-catching action likely explains this divide. Other differences include the film’s portrayal of a friendlier relationship between Brody and Hooper and the shark getting shot with an oxygen tank.
- Forrest Gump
Fans of the Academy Award-winning movie Forrest Gump might not even realize that this story is, in fact, based on a book written by Winston Groom. The book gets good ratings among readers, but isn’t nearly as famous or beloved as the film, perhaps because the movie made many changes to the story. In the book, Forrest doesn’t run, he’s rougher around the edges and curses often, and he doesn’t marry Jenny or raise their son.
Readers still enjoy Tom Perrotta’s Election. In fact, Perrotta is a New York Times bestselling author also credited with Little Children and The Leftovers. That said, Election’s popularity increased notably after the film‘s release. Even Perotta admits that seeing Reese Witherspoon bring the story to life on screen took it to new heights.
- Jurassic Park
When reading Jurassic Park, the mind naturally wonders what this experience might look like in person. The movie puts the action right in your face. You dare not take your eyes off the screen for fear of missing something. Written by Michael Crichton, the book has a solid fan base, but many find the film’s action combined with Steven Spielberg’s direction put the movie on a different level.
- The Devil Wears Prada
The book The Devil Wears Prada is well-liked by fans, but the words on the page can’t compete with Meryl Streep on screen. The film, a modern-day classic, varies only slightly from the book and features lines that are quoted to this day, 15 years after its release. On top of Streep’s performance, the movie’s makeovers and fashions might also play a role in its favored status.
- Fight Club
Fight Club, written by Chuck Palahniuk, was a popular book before the film took it to new levels of popularity. It’s been more than 20 years since the film’s release, yet it remains a cult classic. While the ending of the movie differs from that of the book, seeing the fighting in action has helped the film’s fandom top the book’s, not to mention the incredible star power that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton bring to the screen.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
While depictions of Holly Golightly in the book and film versions of Breakfast at Tiffany’s are similar, the stories take many different turns. Perhaps it’s the 1960s versus the 1940s, a tidy romantic ending versus an unromantic, open-ended conclusion, or simply Audrey Hepburn’s on-screen magnetism. Whatever the reason, the movie version has a much bigger fan base than the book. In fact, the film has become a classic enjoyed by each new generation, while the book has become something fans of the film check out after viewing
- The Wizard of Oz
The children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is certainly appreciated, but it can’t compare with what is considered one of the greatest films of all time, Best Picture Academy Award-Winner The Wizard of Oz. While there are a few differences between the two, the storylines go in slightly different directions, the book is a little darker and more violent, and the movie, of course, brings music and vibrant colors into the story.
- The First Wives Club
The First Wives Club is one of the 90’s most beloved romantic comedies. While the book is enjoyed by readers, Hollywood powerhouse actresses Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton bring such charisma to the characters on screen that they elevate the story. The film and the book follow a similar storyline. In fact, the book’s author, Olivia Goldsmith, was involved in the movie’s production.
- Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire, starring the late great Robin Williams, is an internationally beloved movie based on the book Madame Doubtfire, published in the late 80s. The book was intended for teenagers and while it was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction award, it never received the same level of adoration as the film.
For the most part, the movie version of Pollyanna stays very true to the book. It tells the story of an optimistic orphan who’s taken in by her strict aunt and soon brings joy to the people in her town. The book was a bestseller when published in 1913, and the film has remained popular with families ever since. Over time, however, the movie has had a more significant impact than the book. First, Hayley Mills lent a certain charm to the character of Pollyanna, who was written to be a little less chatty and annoying in the movie. Then, the film version of Pollyanna gets injured because of something she did, while in the book, her injury is accidental. Lastly, the tension and defiance between Pollyanna and her aunt Polly add another layer to the film.
- The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride is a movie people of all ages have loved for decades. The book was published in 1973, but the film didn’t come out until 1987. In fact, the book’s author, William Goldman, already a successful screenwriter, adapted the story and wrote the screenplay, which may explain why the film was and continues to be so well received by fans of the book. The fact that Goldman changed plenty of details and omitted parts of the book when bringing the story to life on screen could be why the film has more fans.
- Mean Girls
Fans of the comedy film Mean Girls might be surprised to find out that it’s based on a non-fiction, self-help book called Queen Bees and Wannabes. While many find the book informative, the film puts the concepts of cliques and bullying into a more memorable, engaging context. Many viewers found that the movie felt more realistic than the read, likely due to Tina Fey’s reliance on personal experiences to flesh out the script.
- How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
While the book How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, inspired the hit romantic comedy, fans of the film might be surprised to discover that the book is a humorous non-fiction guide on etiquette featuring comic-style drawings. Considered one of the best modern romantic comedies ever, the film ties the book’s overall concept into its plot as magazine chronicler Andie (played by Kate Hudson) tries out all the things that shouldlose her a guy in 10 days.