Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today we shall talk about Book Adaptations, which most of you will know, is a topic I’ve talked about on numerous occasions here. Seen as this blog is dedicated to books, TV shows, movies and really anything I can think about, it does tend to be a repeat subject.

Here are some examples of previous posts regarding adaptations:

I’m going to try my very best to not to repeat myself too much from previous posts (and to stick to movies and not TV shows). There’s not really a theme here, other than that I have actually read all the books for the movies as well as watched them. (Because there’s still some books I haven’t watched and some films I haven’t read … if that makes sense.)


Stardust is one of my absolute favorite comfort movies and I can watch it pretty much any day, whenever it is on. There’s no such thing as too much Stardust. I also have to say that I enjoy the movie more than the book, because I didn’t actually connect to Neil Gaiman’s writing at all. I know he is brilliant and a much beloved author, but this book wasn’t really it for me. The movie is where it’s really at!

Charlie St. Cloud

I read this book after watching the trailer, while I was doing my internship in the French countryside. Something about this story was just magical and although I think the movie didn’t capture that as well as the book, I still enjoyed both.

The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now is one of those cases where I thought I would really enjoy both, the movie and the book, but ended up feeling very confused about both. It’s not a fluffy teen romance at all, it has a deceptively amount of depth. It’s even quite sad …


I cried watching and reading Dumplin’. It’s a really beautiful story, but it was interesting to see on what different aspects the two variations focused on. I remember the book featuring more of Bo (who I adore as a love interest), while the movie had a clear focus on the mother-daughter-relationship. Then again, how could you not utilize having Jennifer Aniston in your movie …

This Is Where I Leave You

I have a thing for grief explorations and complex family dynamics, so I was immediately drawn to This Is Where I Leave You. The book obviously has the room to go much more into depth on some of the relationships, which I missed in certain scenes, but generally, it was a well done movie. Some things were even improved (thank the lord we didn’t have to hear Judd’s horny thoughts all day long).

What are some of book to movie adaptations you like? Let’s talk about those!

16 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations

  1. I’ve seen all of these but Dumplin’ and I’m unfamiliar with its story.

    As for the others I liked but didn’t love This Is Where I Leave You, great cast and any movie that gives Jane Fonda a prominent role moves up a couple of notches just based on that fact but it was missing a magic element that bumped it into being something special. The fault lies in the direction not the performances.

    I remember thinking Charlie St. Cloud was okay when I saw it but it’s been years and I’ve never had any desire to return to it since.

    Stardust didn’t bowl me over when I saw it in the theatre but I haven’t seen it since then with that cast I should really give it another shot and see if my perception has changed.

    Words really fail me to describe how much I utterly detested The Spectacular Now and it’s vile lead character. It didn’t help that the leads are filled with two actors that I can barely tolerate and that the female lead was one step up from a dishrag.

    Unfortunately, except in the case of the last film (which I have zero interest in), I haven’t read any of the source novels.

    Since this theme is so wide open I decide to focus on one performer-Robert Redford-and three of his more famous films that are based on excellent books. The result in the first two cases were equally fine films, the last not so much.

    All the President’s Men (1976)-Near perfect adaptation of the Woodward/Bernstein book of the same name that details how the two dogged reporters methodically uncovered the Watergate coverup and brought to light the corruption that led to the fall of Nixon’s presidency. A phenomenal cast in every role headed by Robert Redford as Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein. Jason Robards won a Best Supporting Actor trophy for his work but equally deserving was the unnominated Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat.

    Three Days of the Condor (1975)-Joe Turner (Robert Redford), code name Condor, is a low-level CIA analyst working as a reader in a small NYC office. One rainy day he slips out the back door for lunch and returns to find everyone slaughtered. Panicked he contacts the agency but instead of help finds himself a hunted man. With danger all around he tries to find answers before the mysterious stranger on his trail (Max von Sydow) catches up with him. Adapted from the compulsively readable spy novel “Six Days of the Condor.”

    The Great Gatsby (1974)- Young Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) serves as our guide through the lives of the fabulously rich but mysterious Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford), his former paramour Daisy (Mia Farrow) now married to intractable Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern) and the others in their sphere. Gatsby still yearns from Daisy and that triangle will lead to tragedy. Gorgeous looking but sterile adaptation of the difficult to translate F. Scott Fitzgerald masterpiece is all surface with a few good performances (Dern, Waterson, Karen Black as the ill-fated Myrtle) but a surprisingly bland one from Redford and the total miscasting of Mia Farrow in the key role of Daisy.

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  2. The Spectacular Now…I’ve read both the book and seen the movie. I think some people did go in thinking it’s going to be a teen romance, especially with a happy sounding title. And it is soo not. The kid has an issue that he is unwilling to admit he has until he sees how much he is bringing his girlfriend down with him.

    And I love Stardust…it is my happy movie. Haven’t read the book though.


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