I am a geek. When I read a book, I devour every little detail of it. When the Harry Potter books were at long-last made into movies, I was right there opening night opining every detail left out and how they really didn't get this or that the way it was in the book. Don't even get me started on "Under the Tuscan Sun." Although I rate this as one of my favorite movies, the only thing it shares with the book is the name.
My previous held belief was this probably only happened once in awhile - but now I am of the firm belief that if you want a true, full-flavored experience you absolutely must read the book. I have read too many amazing stories only to witness their soul lost to the big screen. One possible explanation is that my imagination is more vivid than can be portrayed through film; although, I must admit that Chris Columbus captured Hogwarts exactly as I had envisioned in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Unfortunately, this is rare. Another possibility is I put so much of myself into what I choose to read, often times I come away with a spiritual experience that is subsequently let-down through a) the actors selected to bring the characters to life; or b) the director's failure to relate to what attracted me to the story.
Often times I am following the movie, but it is only with the knowledge of the book's full story-line that the movie makes any sense. "The Da Vinci Code" is a perfect example here, as well as "Perseus Jackson and the Lightening Thief." Without reading the book, how would you know Luke's method of stealing Zeus's lightening bolt or even why? What about what Perseus asks of all the Gods due to Luke's choices? Oops! I probably should have had a spoiler alert, but it doesn't matter - if you haven't read the book the movie won't make sense anyway.
If any evidence is needed to make the case to read, read, read rather than just watch, watch, watch...well, keep reading...
Recently, I parted with about $15 to see "Eat, Pray, Love." Well, actually I parted with $7 to see the movie; the rest was for carrot cake and a seltzer from the out-of-this-world snack bar at the Spectrum. Anyway, I absolutely love, love, love this book. Elizabeth Gilbert is approximately 48 hours older than me - we were born the same year, the same month, the same week. I could really relate to this woman's memoir and her journey. Now I must admit, I was forewarned. A recent article in Vanity Fair did advise the movie focused more on a love story than the spiritual aspects of the book. And while I did enjoy the movie, I constantly found myself mourning the passages they did not accurately relay; more so the ones sacrificed for total fabrication. While the scenery was beautiful and brought me to lands I can only dream to one day visit, the characters who so positively impacted her life were never developed. I implore everyone who sees this movie to please, please, please read this book.
And - try the carrot cake. It's divine!