George R.R. Martin once said, "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only once."
There are two types of people in the world: Those that love to read and those that do not. If you are a casual reader, you more than likely will fall into the category of not loving to read. Otherwise, you would be reading all the time.
The separation between the two types of people is easy to recognize when it comes to movies. Any time there is a film based on a book, there ends up being a debate about whether the book was better, or the movie. If you ask a reading lover, more often times it will be the book.
So let's take a look at 10 films that were better than the books they were based on and 10 films that were not even close to the books.
20 Better Film: The Devil Wears Prada
There was simply no way we could make this list and not include The Devil Wears Prada. Not only was it a New York Times bestselling novel, it was also a film starring Meryl Streep, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci.
But even with such a great book, the film ends up being the better of the two for one reason, Meryl Streep. She is so amazing that she is literally good enough to turn a film into one of the greatest of all time.
19 Better Book: The Cat In The Hat
It is not easy to turn a Dr. Seuss children's book into a film if you are not going to stick to the main theme of the book, the rhyming. The film version, starring Mike Myers as the Cat, failed to rhyme and even made a joke about it in the beginning.
What made things even worse was how the film had so much adult humor that it felt as if the film was not even aimed for children. That alone was enough to make the book a much better experience for readers.
18 Better Film: Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
This was not an easy choice for us because of how much we love the book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But it is a wild ride that takes you down many different roads in which the users are taking the various types of drugs they brought along for the road trip.
Although the book does a good job of describing the experiences of the different drugs taken, the film did an even better one. It truly showed people how it feels to be on the many different types of drugs. That visual turned the film into a classic one.
17 Better Book: Dune
Dune is a film project that was first attempted in 1971 but the producer died and the film ended up not getting developed. A few years later, Jodorowsky's Dune was attempted but failed due to budgetary restrictions. Eventually, they made it in 1984 but it was a massive failure.
The plot was a mess and it was so confusing at times that there was almost no way anyone watching would be able to truly get themselves involved emotionally in the film.
16 Better Film: Jurassic Park
There's no denying just how talented Steven Spielberg is as a film director but what he did for Jurassic Park is just plain legendary. He used the technology he had at the time and was able to create a world that featured dinosaurs that almost seemed real at times.
His depiction and hard work was derived from Michael Crichton's novel of the same name that was released in 1990. Although the book was a great read, Spielberg's creation changed the way films were created and that makes the film much better.
15 Better Book: The Golden Compass
One of the key differences between a book and a movie is the visuals. A reader will create vibrant, elaborate visuals in their minds which are all truly unique and much more amazing than when a film does it for you.
The Golden Compass had one massive issue when it was turned into a film, it lacked to create an ambiance of the magical world that was described in the novel. That is a very big part of the story that the film failed to include.
14 Better Film: Fight Club
Without giving away any spoilers, we will tell you that the best part of Fight Club is the ending. You have to sit through until the end or you will have a different experience than everyone else. That said, if you have read the book and think you know the ending, you are wrong. The book and the film have two completely different endings.
David Fincher directed the movie and literally discovered something hidden in the novel that the author himself did not even see.
13 Better Book: Gulliver's Travels
If you were asked to come up with ten novels that have been around forever, that almost everyone has heard about, and are part of classic American literature, than you would end up including Gulliver's Travels.
The story is not the easiest one to turn into a film because it revolves around a normal sized person finding himself in a land of tiny people. So the interactions and filming is going to feature a lot of special effects, leading to a tougher emotional connection for audiences.
12 Better Film: Gone Girl
Although the Gone Girl book was such a great work of art, the film did a wonderful job of turning the novel into a movie without losing much of the story that readers loved including the original ending.
Most films that adapt their stories from books might end up trying to fool their audiences who walk into the theater thinking they know what is going to happen already. But this film did not and it was still just as amazing, if not better, than the book it so closely followed.
11 Better Book: The Bonfire Of The Vanities
When it was announced that Brian De Palma was going to turn The Bonfire of the Vanities into a film, with a $45 million budget, fans knew it was going to be a disaster. First off, the story is captivating and became an instant classic because of how it addresses social issues throughout New York in the 1980's.
However, the film became more about casting the biggest names and then trying to make them create the masterpiece instead of the story itself. But even Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis could not help this film find a footing and it became a horrible mess.
10 Better Film: The Princess Bride
The novel of The Princess Bride is actually something that most people had no idea even existed until about ten minutes ago. Many of the hardcore fans knew about it after the film came out but most of us had no clue, until today.
But after reading the book, we can easily see why so many people claim the film is better. The story takes on a life of its' own on the big screen and could not have been further from the novel than you could think.
9 Better Book: Twilight
Vampires do not sparkle, right?
In the novels they do and it works because the readers see it in their own minds. But when they did it on film, it just came across as cheesy. They also failed by leaving out a lot of important details from the film.
The entire Twilight series was much better on paper than on screen.
8 Better Film: The Notebook
A book about a romantic love affair between two people destined to end up together has to set a tone for the reader that is maintained throughout the novel so that they always know how to feel. Otherwise, the love story can become sappy and misunderstood.
The Notebook found itself falling into that sappy category because no one had seen the chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. They were the new age Jack and Rose. They brought the book to life on the big screen.
7 Better Book: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created and changed the entire landscape of filmmaking, there was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a film starring a team of extraordinary people that could protect the British Empire. Some of the characters include Dr. Jekyll and Captain Nemo.
The book was actually a graphic novel so it was already ten times better than any film version could ever be, and the film did nothing to help its' cause. It was incredibly boring and failed to do the one thing the team was created for, entertainment.
6 Better Film: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Thank you, Gene Wilder, thank you!
Although it had a name change, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was turned into a motion picture in 1971 without many expectations about what Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory would look like. The book was great but Gene Wilder blew his portrayal of Willy Wonka out of the park.
It will be tough for anyone to do what Gene did for the classic children's novel.
5 Better Book: The Great Gatsby
Leonardo DiCaprio was able to carry The Great Gatsby on his shoulders and bring it out of the gutter, turning it into a mediocre film adaptation instead of a complete and utter debacle. The film was a little bit over-the-top and there were times that it seemed as if they were trying to spend as much money as possible, when it was not needed.
As one of the greatest books ever written, The Great Gatsby is a simple story that could have been told on a tiny budget with a smaller cast and less focus on the 3-D aspect of it all.
4 Better Film: Jaws
Jaws is a work of modern art and one of the greatest films of all time. It was another Steven Spielberg masterpiece that showcased just how brilliant he is as a director.
The book describes the shark who terrorizes an entire beachside community but the suspense is never there while reading about it. The best part of Jaws is how the ominous music crept on our eardrums as the shark slowly approached its' next victim.
3 Better Book: The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien created two works of literature that have become two of the most popular stories of all time. The first one was The Hobbit. The story of Bilbo Baggins' journey to discover the treasure guarded by Smaug the Dragon featured many characters and stories that it led him to write The Lord of the Rings.
But when Peter Jackson decided to turn The Hobbit into a film, after the success of The Lord of the Rings, it turned into a failure because he tried to stretch one novel into three films, and it just did not work.
2 Better Film: Forrest Gump
Many people had no idea that Forrest Gump was actually a novel before it became an Academy Award-winning movie. There are a lot of similarities between the book and the film except for one, Forrest Gump.
In the novel, he came across as more of a silly dumb guy that did things that were almost hard to believe. The film, and specifically Tom Hanks's portrayal of him, makes Forrest Gump more realistic.
1 Better Book: The Scarlet Letter
For several years, people in Hollywood have tried to turn The Scarlet Letter into a film but just about every single time, it ends up becoming nothing more than a mediocre attempt at turning a staple in American Literature into a movie.
The one time they had a shot at creating a filming masterpiece was in 1995 when they brought in Demi Moore to play the main role. However, the story was nothing like the book and took on a life of its' own.
Sources: www.theguardian.com, www.imdb.com, www.wikipedia.com, www.time.com