EPL, UTTS and K-PAX
Almost anyone that is a connoisseur of reading for pleasure will agree that nine times out of ten, the book offers a better experience than the movie. Typically, I fall into this camp as well. However, I have had a few instances when the movie version sincerely equaled the book in my opinion.
Don't burn down my house, literary snobs! Hear me out. I'm sure, whether you want to admit the fact or not, there is at least one movie made from a book that you enjoyed as much as the original version. (Don't worry, I won't tattle on you. Even if your pick is a classic like the Jungle Book or Outsiders - those guys were hot in their younger acting days!) :-)
Back to the topic at hand, here are three of my Movie v. Book Equal Loves choices...
#1 Eat, Pray, Love
While I did fall in love with Elizabeth Gilbert and her autobiographical book first, I must admit that I've watched the Julia Roberts film version over a dozen times. The story so moves me and I connect with it on such an epic level that I desire a revisiting once or twice a year (okay, who am I kidding - hubby would tell you I watch it more like once a month). However, I don't have the time to commit to the written version that often. So, I reread the book once every couple of years while relishing in the movie in between readings. No harm, no foul. Huge love to both, Liz and Julia!
#2 Under The Tuscan Sun
Very much like Gilbert's EPL, this fantastic Frances Mayes' book takes me to places I've never been and reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. She's an amazing writer, just as Diane Lane and the production team for the film version of Under The Tuscan Sun are incredible. Both suck me in and don't let me go until the last page turns or final credits roll. Neither is better than the other. I love them both. Choosing between them would be like choosing between my own children. Thank goodness my daughter is an only child!?! Gratitude for Frances and Diane!
This one's a little different for me because I had no idea that a book version existed until about a month ago!?! I don't know how that's possible and my biggest apologies to Gene Brewer for my ignorance and oversight. When the movie version came out back in 2001, I gobbled it up with a ferocity only bested by Kevin Spacey's incredible performance as prot (lower case for a reason - read the book and you'll understand). I've probably seen this movie, co-starring one of my all-time favorite actors Jeff Bridges, twenty times in the past fifteen years. Then while perusing a bookstore with my father, yep that's the kind of family we are - the hang out in bookstores together type - I found a paperback copy of K-PAX. What?!?! Shut the front book binding! Well, of course, I snatched it right off the shelf and into my basket. I'm now finishing the final pages and have been just as moved, delighted and captivated with the book as I have been with the film all these years. Hats off to Brewer, Spacey and Bridges!
So, the moral of the story for me is...when the previews start rolling, head to the bookstore or library to see if the written version exists too! You might be surprised and might be thrilled with both versions...equally. You're welcome.