T5W: Movies I Think Ruin The Books

Last week for Top 5 Wednesday I listed the movies I like just as much as their books, and the week before that I listed the movies I think are better than the books. Today I’m wrapping up this theme with the top 5 movies I thought did its book an injustice. There are MANY that could be on this list, but I’ve limited it to the worst offenders.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris | Chocolat

I loved this movie when I watched it, but then I read the book and…realized how badly the movie translated the book’s themes. I made a video discussing the differences that I’ll turn into a blog post at some point, but basically: the movie completely devalued the social commentary from the book on multiple issues in favor of upping the romance with Johnny Depp (UGH), and it cowardly removed the criticism of Christianity.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter

*long, dramatic sigh* I mean, I understand that movies are an entirely different medium from books and need to adapt accordingly, but…that doesn’t require incredibly awkward scenes like Ginny bending so her head is at Harry’s crotch level to tie the 15-year-old’s shoes (somehow this was supposed to be romantic???), or the destruction of any character depth whatsoever, or goddamn Dumbledore flying off his handle thus negating the entire aura of the character, or constantly insisting Harry and Hermione aren’t a couple, or…

The Witches by Roald Dahl | The Witches

This one might be the least offensive adaptation overall, but it’s still pretty bad. The movie is one of those terrible ones that crosses the line into enjoyable terrible. It’s pretty accurate story-wise other than awkwardness and Anjelica Huston’s horrendous accent. The end of the movie, though, inserts a fix-it that’s not in the book and completely destroys the overall dark tone that I loved as a kid. For that reason alone, it’s on this list.

Timeline by Michael Crichton | Timeline

It’s been a while since I watched the movie so I don’t remember details except that it was bad. I watched it with my dad, who hadn’t read the book, and he said he had no idea what was going on. I only understood because I had read the book, the movie was that chopped together.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson | The Haunting

So don’t judge me too harshly, but I actually like this movie. I watched it decades before I read the book, and while I recognize it isn’t great, I still enjoy it. It has nostalgia for me, particularly in that it was my first notable introduction to a bisexual character where it wasn’t made a big deal of. Now that I’ve read the book it’s supposedly based on, I wonder what the creators were thinking when they decided to greenlight this adaptation. Aside from character names and the house it bears NO resemblance to the original whatsoever in plot or horror or themes (which are the entire point of the book) and does a admirably poor job of the whole thing. The 1963 movie version has its own problems, but it’s hands-down a more faithful adaptation.

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And those are my top 5 movies that I think do their books an injustice.

Let me know down in the comments if you’ve read any of these books, watched any of these movies, and what your thoughts on them are!

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