Dear Diary, Ever since I was a little boy, I remember my mother always telling me “Read the book before you see the movie, because the book will always be better.”
It has basically been a norm in our house ever since and I am so happy about it.
In this diary entry, I explain why The novels are better than their movie adaptations And why you should always read the book first, too.
Many popular novels have been adapted into films such as “All the bright placesWritten by Jennifer Niven, Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer and more literature classics such as “The great GatsbyWritten by F. Scott Fitzgerald
However, the one I want to focus on this week is The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein.
This novel is one of my all-time favorite books and I will always recommend it to those who enjoy a sentimental story. The novel is from the point of view of a dog named Enzo, who tells the story of Denny, his owner, and every turn they capture together, including Enzo’s hatred of a stuffed zebra.
When I found out this novel was being made into a movie, I was ecstatic. That is, until I found out that Disney picked it up. While I’m a Disney fanatic, I just knew they wouldn’t be able to turn this novel into a PG-13 movie and keep some of the original stories. That’s exactly what happened.
After many conflicts throughout the book, there is a point where a 15-year-old girl named Anika, who is a family member of Denny’s wife, pushes herself to Denny, who is an adult woman and asks for sexual relations.
The whole incident started after Denny kissed Anika on the cheek as a formal greeting. I suddenly felt drawn towards him. She exaggerates her feelings and cries, “But I love you!” To my religion over and over again.
She howled, Stein writes in Enzo’s voice, “and then she was in a fit of crying, her eyes closed, her mouth contorted. ‘I love you!'” She kept saying over and over, ‘I love you!'”
Denny rejected her, which we thought was the end of that story.
However, the novel’s final climax occurs when Denny fights for custody of his daughter from his late wife’s parents. Then Anika decides to accuse Denny of rape.
The outcome of the experiment is good for Denny, but the details are not clear because the book is narrated by Enzo, who is a dog. As Enzo says in the book, “I wasn’t there because I’m a dog, and dogs aren’t allowed on court.”
Disney, known for shying away from making films that exceed a PG-13 rating, eventually changed the final peak gross.
In the film, Denny’s mother-in-law accuses Denny of assaulting his father-in-law by pushing him to the ground. They use this as a reason to fight for custody over Denny’s daughter Zoe, their granddaughter.
While it was nice to see my favorite book made into a movie, I was disappointed with the missing plot.
When a bookworm like me finds out that her favorite novel is being made into a movie or TV show, I suspect it’s inevitable that she will get it wrong. The reason most movie adaptations miss out on huge plot points from their books is because of the movie’s runtime.
Most movies are between one and a half and three hours long. When you play a book, scene by scene and word for word, it’s probably much longer than that.
Not only will movies cut scenes from novels that readers might think are interesting or important, but novels are more likely to be immersive and complex experiences.
In the novel, you see life through the eyes of a dog. But in the movie, even though the dog is present, it’s still like it’s been seen through human eyes, which makes the experience less immersive.
While the movies may be more visually engaging, the detailed descriptions found in the book can make you empathize with the emotions the characters feel, propelling the reader further into the narrative. Movies don’t always elicit the same emotional response.
Books can be useful for expanding vocabulary, knowledge and imagination. With movies, you are automatically given a visual of the story. In text, you can create those images yourself.
When a novel is made into a movie, don’t forget to read the book first and decide for yourself if the movie is better.