Hollywood Hits & Misses – take 2

I initially wrote this blog for a third party website but, for reasons unknown, it was never posted. I’ve decided to post it on my own blog for your reading pleasure.

I would think almost all of us have read books that were made into movies and just as many of us have probably seen movies that were adapted from books. When I devour a book and find out it’s being turned into a movie, I literally count the days until I can watch the scenes play out on the big screen. (Most recently, I organized an outing for my friends to see The Hunger Games.) Most of the time I do not expect to enjoy the movie as much as the book and most of the time, it works out that way, for example, Bonfire of the Vanities – Loved the book, HATED the movie. But sometimes I am pleasantly surprised.

Listed below are my picks for three best movies that were adapted from books and three worst movies that were adapted from books. My list is limited to books/movies in the chicklit/rom-com genre because that was the “assignment” for the third party blog.

Hits:

1. The Devil Wears Prada – Book by Lauren Weisberger

Although I enjoyed this book, I preferred the film version for several reasons. Most importantly, I liked that Merryl Streep brought vulnerability to the role of Miranda Priestly. I also enjoyed Andrea’s makeover and watching her transform from a somewhat sloppy “plain Jane” to a sophisticated fashionista. And, of course, any film starring Simon Baker is cool with me.

2. Bridget Jone’s Diary – Book by Helen Fielding.

I recall finding the book humorous but, in my opinion, the movie kicked serious ass! The casting was completely on point and I found Renee Zellwegger’s portrayal as a British single woman very authentic. Also, while reading the book, I got bored with the diary entries of how much she weighed, drank, smoked etc., but the narrative during the movie made me laugh. I have watched this movie more times than I can count on my fingers and toes and quite honestly, I can’t wait to watch it again! HIT with a capital H!

3. In Her Shoes – Book by Jennifer Weiner

The movie perfectly captured the complex relationship between two sisters, Rose and Maggie. The casting of Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz, not to mention Shirley Maclaine was spot on. I don’t recall major discrepancies between the book and the movie but if there were any a) they were subtle and b) they worked. I loved the book but I think I might have enjoyed the movie even more.

Misses:

Something Borrowed – Book by Emily Giffin

1. Something Borrowed is probably my favorite chicklit book of all times. It is one of the only books I’ve actually read more than once and I was beyond excited to see the film adaptation. In fact, I actually counted down the months with a friend. Unfortunately, I was unimpressed. For one thing, I didn’t like the casting of Kate Hudson as Darcy Rhone. The character was supposed to be a dark-haired sophisticated head turner and, while obviously an attractive woman, I consider Kate Hudson more of a ham. Her performance actually exceeded my low expectations in that regard, but I HATED what they did to the character of Marcus. In the book, Marcus was a viable contender for Rachel’s affections and made Dex feel somewhat insecure. In the book, he was a complete train wreck, like a court jester. Additionally, the book character of Hilary, Rachel’s work confidante, was completely written out of the movie and much of her advice-giving role was given to Ethan. While I adore John Krasinski, the character of Ethan was in London for the entire book. The movie completely foreshadowed the eventual romance between Ethan and Darcy in the follow-up Something Blue and I just didn’t like it. The one thing I loved about the movie – Colin Eggilsfield was some serious eyecandy! But in sum, I wish the movie had followed the book more closely – why mess with perfection?

2. One Day – Book by David Nicholls

I admit to being torn by the book but the chemistry between the main characters Emma and Dexter was undeniable and I was completely sucked in as I waited to find out if they would eventually find the right timing to be together, as they belonged. Where the movie succeeded in spanning two decades, the movie felt too rushed, the connection between Emma and Dexter seemed forced and I was left thinking “is that all there is?”

3. The Lovely Bones – Book by Alice Sebold

This book will always hold a special place in my heart. I found it hauntingly beautiful. While the violent death of Susie Salmon at such a young age was tragic, the descriptions of her afterlife were magical and I loved being able to imagine what “her” heaven looked like. This novel touched me in such a major way that whenever I see the soft blue cover, I feel the urge to pick up the book and leaf through the pages. The movie adaption, on the other hand, was just too commercial for me and I was majorly disappointed. I also never pictured the parents as good looking as Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz and while I would never complain about watching Mark Walhberg on the big screen, it seemed a bit too hollywood for me and detracted from the magic that exuded from the pages of the book.

And there you have them. Agree? Disagree? Indifferent? What about you? What are your picks? They need not be limited to any particular genre!

my second novel is being published!

I am way overdue for a blog, I know. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to blog, it’s just I’ve been too busy crossing my fingers, twiddling my hair and chewing my fingernails while awaiting the fate of my 2nd novel.

Well, I can finally announce that my second novel, Planet of the Flakes, has been contracted by Booktrope Publishing, a small press publisher based out of Seattle. I’m totally stoked!!

This time around, I actually had choices, which was both a good and bad thing. It was good because it’s always better to have more than one choice than no choice at all, but it was bad because having choices means making a decision and making a decision comes with the risk of making the wrong one. That being said, I made my choice and I think (and certainly hope) it was the right one. I’m beyond excited! (And, yes, I am aware that I said that already but at least I expressed the same emotion using different words the second time around. It’s the least I can do as a writer!)

What is Planet of the Flakes about? So glad you asked! Here’s a blurb:

After ending things with her first-ever boyfriend of nine years and waiting the requisite 365 days to avoid a dreaded rebound relationship, twenty-six-year-old Jane Frank is finally ready to fall in love for the second and hopefully last time. Jane doesn’t care if she meets “the one” via online dating, at a single’s event or through the law firm where she is employed as a paralegal, as long as she is in a loving, committed relationship by the time she starts law school in a year.

Jane dives head first into the New York City dating scene only to discover it is infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow without so much as a phone call, voicemail, email, text message or even Post-it note. At first Jane tries to maintain her optimistic spirit, but it is an uphill battle. Eventually she decides to turn the tables and discovers she much prefers pulling the disappearing act to being on the receiving end of it.

And before you ask, this is not based on my life! Jane Frank is nothing like Meredith Schorr, although I will admit it was my own experiences in the NYC dating world that inspired the idea.

I do not have a release date yet for Planet of the Flakes but I will be sure to keep you updated. In the meantime, my first book Just Friends With Benefits is available on Amazon, Fictionwise, www.wings-press.com and B&N (coming soon).