As someone who considers herself to be a supreme literary dork, I can never see movies based off of books I’ve read without saying, “Good God, the book was so much better!” Well, usually. There have been rare occasions when I’ve actually liked the movie just as much, or maybe a smidge more, than I liked the book. Most of the time, as this list will show, I often just like the movies in a different way: some movies are totally different than their books, and both can be equally dope. So here are five movies I liked better than their book counterparts.
1. The Devil Wears Prada (book written by Lauren Weisberger; film directed by David Frankel)
The book was funny and insightful, but the movie had Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep is, arguably, the most perfect human being, and her co-stars make the film even stronger. Anne Hathaway’s struggle is relatable, and she fits so well in the role. Not to mention, Emily Blunt — an underrated comedic genius. (I still use the joke about the cheese cube diet.) Overall, the stellar cast, and beautiful clothes won me over. But, that’s not to say the book isn’t worth a read too!
2. Mean Girls based off the book Queen Bees and Wannabes (book written by Rosalind Wiseman; film directed by Mark Waters)
In this case, the book and movie are totally different. Similar themes and lessons, but Wiseman’s book is a self-help book, while Mean Girls is probably one of the movies that defines teenage girl-dom. This movie is an hysterical quote goldmine that helped every girl I know laugh in the face of cliques, bullies, and the ridiculous drama that plagues high school girls. Both are self-help, one just makes you laugh until you double over.
3. Forrest Gump (book by Winston Groom; film directed by Robert Zemeckis)
For starters, most people are unaware that Forrest Gump was in fact a novel first ... and that’s never a good sign. Don’t get me wrong, the book was unbelievably interesting, but people seemed to share a deeper connection with the movie. I suppose this is to be expected as the movie cuts out some of the less believable parts of the novel (e.g. Forrest being an astronaut who works with a giant ape named Sue), and leaves in the bits that tug at people’s heartstrings. Forrest Gump the movie is a classic. Forrest Gump the novel is, well, just a good book.
4. The Hunger Games (book written by Suzanne Collins; film directed by Gary Ross)
Okay, before anyone auto-defenestrates, I do have good reason. The first being that I found the book to drag a bit in the beginning and middle, and it was only when Katniss is in the games that I really got excited. The best part about the movie was that it showed the gore, and the trackerjacker stings, and all the gruesome things we really cared about. Maybe I’m just not a fan of Collins' writing, but I’m definitely a fan of Jennifer Lawrence, and her co-stars who put on exciting and entertaining performances.
5. Atonement (book written by Ian McEwan; film directed by Joe Wright)
The book was phenomenal, and so was the movie. As I said, a book and its movie counterpart can both be great in different ways. This novel was just a great piece of writing; it was multi-faceted, and offered an in depth look at guilt, love and writing. The movie had a stellar cast, was beautifully done, and offered a fresh look at the same emotions McEwan discusses in his novel.