Why the book is always better than the movie

London Shannon-Muscolino, Freelance Writer

The first romance series I ever read was “After” by Anna Todd. Todd utilizes the classic tropp of good girl with bad boy to capture millions of readers’ hearts. Todd created a story that not only had romance, but ever-evolving characters that were relatable to multiple types of people. There truly was a character that everyone could relate to, which made the series more enjoyable. 

As you can imagine, when I heard that a movie adaptation was coming out, I was excited. I wanted to know who would be casted as my favorite characters, I wanted to see everything play out on the screen. I was sorely disappointed.

The first book and movie were very similar, with only a few variations from the book’s original plot. However, the second and third movies completely differed from the books, leaving viewers who had read the series extremely confused. Directors Roger Kumble, Jenny Gage, and Castille Landon left out scenes with major character development, scenes that had been vital to the book. This created a mish-mash of makeout scenes that left viewers without any real semblance of plot. 

On their own, the movies were alright. Yes, they lacked real character development, but if you want a hard core romance movie series, I recommend “After.” However, having also read the book series, the movies did not do it for me. As a viewer, I was confused for a majority of the movie. The only reason I could sift out pieces of plot was because I had the books to compare to. The friend I watched the movies with, who had not read the books, had no idea what was happening and kept asking me to explain the plot to her. 

This seems to be a disappointing trend happening everywhere. When infamous books that have millions of fans get adapted into a movie, the original book fans are disappointed. 

In 2020, SuperSurvey, an online resource providing information on various pieces of literature, did a survey to see if people prefer the original book or the movie adaptation. The survey said that 34% of people enjoyed the book, compared to 27% of people who preferred the movie, 46% of people argued that film adaptations will never live up to the book, and 25% of people declared that movies ruined the original book. 

As an avid reader and movie watcher, I fully agree with this data. All of my favorite books that have been made into a movie are far superior to the movie adaptation. One of my all time favorite series is “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner. It is a unique story with interesting characters. I watched the movie version of the story first. I was absolutely obsessed with the story, and immediately bought the book series. To my surprise, the second and third books were completely different from the movies! I love both the books and the movies on their own, but the two cannot even be compared. The books are much, much better than the movies because there are more details to entice the reader. 

I think that books are superior to movies because they have more details. While a movie averages an hour to two hours to keep readers engaged, books can be however long the author wants. When long novels are adapted into movies key points can be cut out for the sake of time. This disappoints fans everywhere since important plot points are eliminated. It is true that movies are more convenient than books due to this time constraint, but that does not make up for the fact that it is poorer quality than the book. 

Think of your favorite movie. Chances are that movie is based on a book. Over 50% of all movies made are based on books, as said by a study by Dartmouth University. This includes 70% of the top 20 movies in America today. This means that over 50% of movies have a better counterpart out there, waiting for you to indulge! 

My challenge for you, dear reader, is to go out and find a book that was the basis of a movie you have watched, a movie you enjoyed. I guarantee that you will like the book better. 

Books are always better than the movie adaptation.