Archive for the ‘ Books-to-Movies ’ Category

Best Book to Movie: Silver Linings Playbook

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

In October, the novel Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick came out to rave reviews. But before it was even released, the author’s wildest dreams had already come true. Silver Linings Playbook had been optioned to become a movie. We authors dream of our books coming to the screen with super stars like Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro portraying our beloved characters.

That’s exactly what happened for Quick. I haven’t read the book yet, but I can attest that the movie is fantastic. It’s already nominated for four Golden Globes: best movie, best actor, best actress and best screenplay. Jennifer Lawrence deserves the Best Actress Oscar buzz she’s getting in New York Magazine.

Lawrence shines as the dark, young crazy widow named Tiffany who works her butt off trying to get the even crazier boy named Pat (Cooper) to notice her. Their mental illnesses are dizzying at first, but their suffering is mixed with compassionate humor. Pat, who has just been released from an institution, tries to get his estranged wife back even though she has a restraining order against him. He’s stuck living with his offbeat parents, and his father (DeNiro) is jobless so he takes up gambling. Other subplots involve the Philadelphia Eagles football team and a dance competition. It’s all in good fun.

I just want to say it again, Lawrence rocks this movie. Just like she did in two other book-to-movie adaptations. She’s, of course, Katniss from The Hunger Games. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for playing a tough country girl named Ree in the movie Winter’s Bone (which was also a critically acclaimed novel).

If you like a little bit of wacky, and you can’t get your husband to take you to Les Miserables (that’s me, sigh), you’ll love Silver Linings Playbook.


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Will You Watch Les Miserables or The Hobbit This Weekend?

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Victor Hugo’s great classic novel Les Miserables has been adapted to stage and screen more than 80 times, so you probably have heard of Cosette by now. I adore the sad story, and I blew through a box of tissues when I saw the musical on Broadway. I have not read Hugo’s epic book from 1862, and I probably never will. That thing is 1,488 pages long.

I’ll see the new movie instead. I want to watch Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe sing and emote. They’d better make me cry, dang it. I hear they deliver. This movie has a best picture nomination at the Golden Globes, and the Oscar buzz is building–especially for Hathaway. See the Les Miserables trailer at the end of this post.

I plan to see Les Mis this weekend because we have a sitter on Saturday. Unless my husband reminds me that it’s his turn to pick the flick after Breaking Dawn Part 2. Boo. He’ll choose Skyfall. Or, help me, The Hobbit.

I know I read The Hobbit as a kid, but the only thing I remember is Bilbo, and something about furry feet. And then, of course, there’s The Lord of the Rings that famed author J. R. R. Tolkien wrote next. Those movies rocked. I hear that’s not the case for this first of three Hobbit movies. After all, the children’s book is only 300 pages, so how is Peter Jackson making it into a trilogy? If I had read better reviews, I would’ve tuned in to find out.

Will you watch Les Miserables or The Hobbit this weekend–or at least once they come out on DVD? Better question: Which movie would you prefer? What about your husband?

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Did You See Anna Karenina?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

In my excitement about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, I neglected another highly-anticipated book-to-movie adaptation, Anna Karenina.

Did you see Anna Karenina last weekend? Or did your husband insist on Skyfall or Lincoln? Or, more likely, since having kids, do you get out to the movies about as often as you get a hot stone massage?

If you haven’t read Anna Kareninawhich would take roughly 33 hours and 24 minutes–try out this new flick starring Keira Knightly and Jude Law (2 hours, 10 minutes, done). The lavish, tragic tale may be old, but it’s ripe and juicy. The famed author Leo Tolstoy weaves together searing social commentary with epic love and tragedy. I listened to this book on a cassette tape with my mom during a 1400-mile car ride. Oh, the ending. We cried. And I better just leave it at that.

I’m a sucker for adapted late 1800s classic literature on screen. Give me Keira Knightly any day. I live for Price and Prejudice. Or maybe I break for Jane Eyre. That’s a tough call. Note to husband: Accents and period costumes are much bigger turn ons than James Bond.

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I’m Totally Watching The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two Today

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Where will you be at 5 p.m. today? I’ll be at the Clearview Cinema on Bellevue Ave. devouring The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

The tickets are bought. And I’ve been pumped for days, make that months, make that years.

I tore through the books as they came out, but that’s not a surprise considering how much I love young adult fiction and especially teen angst. I have always been lukewarm on vampires, but this book sunk its teeth into me. Who wouldn’t want to be Bella? Two hot, powerful guys are willing to die for her. Bella is no kick-ass superhero like Buffy (well, she might be, *spoiler*), but she represents the ultimate teenage girl fantasy. She is respected, worshipped and loved by two boys, and then she gets to choose between them. Anyway, the Twilight series led me to more critically aclaimed fare like Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. Goodness. You need to read that–and skip the boring Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt movie version.

But you don’t need to read the Twilight series. As much as I liked the books, I adore the movies much, much more. Collectively, I’ve seen Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn Part 1 at least 30 times. Should I be admitting that on the Internet? I’m going to go one step further on over-sharing: I’m spilling the beans that my dear, patient husband digs Twilight, too.

Check out the trailer at the jump. Will you be getting in on the action? Or are you–sniff, sniff–totally glad that it’s over?


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YA Friday: 3 Must Reads Include ‘Blood & Starlight,’ ‘Beta’ and ‘Every Day’

Friday, November 9th, 2012

My inner teenager needs to throw a party. By this time next Friday, I’ll have my tickets to the November 16 opening of the final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Pt. 2. I am a proud Twilight Mom who will be cheering for vampire Bella and her new hybrid baby.

But that’s just icing. The cake involves three amazing new young adult books that whisked me away and made me see life differently. For fun, emotional and resonating escapes, I adore Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor, Beta by Rachel Cohn and Every Day by David Levithan.

Okay, so I haven’t read Days of Blood & Starlight yet. It’s the sequal to Daughter of Smoke & Bone that was my number one YA book addiction last year. It follows the plight of a blue-haired heroine named Karou who glides in and out of other-world portals delivering teeth to a father who looks like a monster. Enter a vicious and beautiful angel named Akiva and shocking secrets unravel. The author’s language and imagination are breathtaking–and fantasy isn’t usually my genre. Laini weaves teenage love and insecurity with religion and racism and too many other engrossing topics to list. I’ve been biting my nails waiting for Blood & Starlight. My poor kids will not get much attention this weekend. Lucky me, there is a third book on the horizon in this trilogy.

Another favorite author, Rachel Cohn, just released a startling futuristic book about a beautiful clone with pink eyes who isn’t supposed to feel anything. She is a human robot of sorts who is created to serve the richest people in the world on a small island so beautiful that even the air is intoxicating. Rachel Cohn had me hooked with her earlier books like Gingerbread. But this one is vastly different. She switches from realistic dramatic fiction to science fiction with humor, insight, intelligence and a wild imagination. Readers will be totally surprised to find out what the clone, Elysia, is capable of doing. I’m happy I’ll get to read more of Elysia’s story. Beta is the first of a four-book series.

David Levithan’s beautiful trademark lines are often about thoughtful and complicated people who are in dizzying relationships. He, along with Rachel Cohn, wrote Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist, which was turned into a great movie. Last year, David tried his hand at adult fiction and wrote a book I’ve gone on and on about: The Lover’s Dictionary. (If you like 500 Days of Summer and other indie flicks, this is for you.) Every Day, his summer young adult release was so different from anything I’ve read. It’s about a sort-of person named A who wakes up in a different body every day. A falls in love with a girl, but A is not male or female. Things get complicated because A can be anything–beautiful, ugly, sweet, smart, mean and more. A is a loving, kind being stuck in an ever-changing and impossible situation. The commentary about gender and color lines are tear-inducing.

Read these books, or give them to an adult or teen. They will make you relish young adult fiction and the way it can bring you back to high school without really having to go back to high school. That is perfection. Do you read YA? What are your favorites?

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