It's Still Friday Somewhere

I'm running a little late on the Friday Five this week. So two former co-workers and I are going to the movies on Sunday. I couldn't care less about what we're seeing; I'm just happy to blow off steam with two very smart and funny ladies whom I don't get to see often enough at all. Well, usually we reserve the blowing-off-steam for dinner afterwards--you know, silence your steam as you silence your cell phone for the main attraction, that sort of thing.

Anyway, the movie my friends chose--and I suspect the choice had more to do with the eye-candy lead than the story--got me to thinking about how often books are made into movies, as the one we're seeing falls into that category. So this week's Friday Five is about five movies I've seen that were based on books:

1. (As if I wouldn't mention this right off the bat) Pride & Prejudice--Usually well done and faithful to the book, although if we're talking about the most recent version in its "American" form, the book is far better. As with just about all film adaptations of Austen. Is it that Austen is hard to mess up or that there's some sort of Austen mafia that filmmakers know would off them if they screwed up?

2. Speak--I'm not sure if this was just a Lifetime (Manhater Channel) production, but it was faithful to the book in just about every respect, and judicious in editing for the sake of time. My only quibble was the revamping of Melinda's art teacher from an older nerdy dude to a hot charismatic one. It wasn't necessary.

3. Drive Me Crazy--I never read the book on which this was based (How I Created My Perfect Prom Date or something like that), and apparently the author claims the movie totally distorted his book. It's still a fun high school romp and well cast. Sabrina the Teenage Witch and that "Entourage" guy with the fabulous lips.

4. Jumper--again, did not read the book, but this is one case where I plan to at some point because it sounds as if it's far better than the movie. As LeVar Burton would say on "Reading Rainbow," you don't have to take my word for it. . . ask tracey.

5. Romeo Must Die--O.K., so this is based on a play; I was trying to think outside the box. It was well done, in spite of how violent it was. I just remember noticing Jet Li as an actor for the first time and trying to pick up the R+J elements.

There are a lot of books brought to the screen, if you think about it. I'm sure it's something I will continue to think about from the school librarian standpoint.


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