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Chapter 6 - The Book Was Better

I have a love/hate relationship with books turned into movies or even TV series. On the one hand it is fun to see how a director or actor or even screenwriter interprets the nuances of a book. On the other hand, key components of the book which enrich the plot or character development are always left out. I saw two film adaptions recently, A Man Called Otto (based on Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove) and Devotion based on Adam Makos's book of the same name. While they were both very good, they were not nearly as good as the original books. In Ove's case, the curmudgeonly Swede and his intrusive Iranian next-door neighbor were well defined characters who made you love them. As far as Devotion goes, the audience didn't get to understand the length of time the rescuing pilot stayed with his friend and just how devastated he was at the end. In some cases the parts missing in the film are key points in the book - the red hat and the shell necklace for example in Where Crawdads Sing. At other times, a whole series is made and then continuing stories fabricated - The Handmaid's Tale and Game of Thrones are great reminders of this trick. Still I go to the film adaptations or watch the TV series to see if my idea of the characters and storyline matches the film or even comes close.

Here are some books which will be coming out in film in 2023. Read them before you see the movies/series so you can judge for yourself.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - In part this book reads like a series of interviews with a 1970's band and there is a reason Reid has written the book in this fashion. Daisy Jones was the front singer for the band The Six. They had some hits and were going places but broke up. Here is their story. Riley Keough, the daughter of the late Lisa Marie Presley, plays Daisy in this mini-series. It premiers on Prime Video in March.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - Elizabeth Zott is a female scientist in the early 1960's. Patted on the head and treated as an anomaly by her all male team at Hastings Research, Elizabeth leaves and becomes the reluctant star of America's favorite cooking show. Apple TV is taking this one on and it will be released sometime in 2023.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix - HBO Max is laying claim to this adaptation from Hendrix's popular book. In case you don't know "the final girl" is the last one standing in a horror movie but she often doesn't quite make it to the end. Final girls usually have several traits in common, including an "innocence" that sets them apart from their peers, gender-neutral names, and intelligence and curiosity that aid them in their survival. No release date has been set yet. Read the book, it's fun!

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry - According to IMDB this movie is in pre-production now so it is anyone's guess when it will come out. The story is about two college friends Alex and Poppy who are sworn to take a vacation together every summer. One summer they have a fight and Poppy is determined to get back to their original vow.

Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal and a Swan Song for an Era by Lawrence Leamer - While not a movie exactly, the series Feud has chosen this true life story for a season. The story revolves around Truman Capote who, in looking for another story to write, decides to dish on some of his best Park Avenue girlfriends. As you can imagine they were not amused. Here is the swinging 60's and 70's at their best and grittiest.

Do you have a favorite book to movie? Please let me know!


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