The book you love, that you have read over and over to the point of total memorization, that you have recommended to anyone with a pulse, that you have casted in your own mind will get a screen adaptation.
This can go one of three ways. The first way is what we all hope for: the movie is the perfect compliment to the book, beautifully bringing the plot and characters to life in such a way that makes your dream cast look like a dinner theater production for a retirement community. The second way is typically what actually happens: you leave the theater wondering if the screenwriter, producers, director, actors, practically everyone involved including craft services even read the book or even knew what the cover looked like. The third way is one that is so sacrilegious, it’s almost taboo to even write this but what the hell: the movie is actually better than the book. Go ahead and tweet me your threats (@julep0405) – come at me, bro.
This year alone, Hollywood has sought inspiration in novels about peculiar children, a teenager taking on aliens, a drunk divorcee and her daily train rides with her can of gin and tonic, and animals who make better parents than humans. And while there have been a few hits – The Jungle Book, Me Before You (depending on who you talk to) – there’s been Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Enough said.
But does the loss of revenue deter film studios from going to their local Barnes and Noble for film ideas? Of course not, those relentless bitches. So, what novels need to have the “Now a Major Motion Picture” sticker on their paperback cover? Here’s just a few books I hope to see in a theater near me.
The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins
The premise is the perfect date night/ladies night/you’re by yourself at a theater and that’s okay because #thatsnormal and no one is looking at you night movie: workaholic Honor is dumped by her non-boyfriend for her best friend and is told that her baby maker may be expiring soon. Hot British professor Tom finds out that his work visa is about to expire. Together, they come up with a foolproof plan: get married. But what is initially a business deal starts to become more when they both start to develop feelings beyond a simple transaction.
A sexy Brit (every film needs one), a crazy family, and some hot sex scenes? Just take my eleven dollars now.
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
Set in Charleston, The House on Tradd Street follows Melanie Middleton, a realtor with a secret that she would rather ignore: she can see dead people. After inheriting a house located on one of Charleston’s oldest streets, Melanie’s secret is put to test as she tries to solve a murder mystery that haunts her home. Helping her along the way is author and walking sex with a low country accent Jack Trenholm.
So what makes this book the perfect page to screen? Yes, the plot and the characters could easily translate to the big screen, but it’s the other main character – the city of Charleston – that steals the show. Karen White weaves in the perfect tour of the city within the narrative, and essentially becomes your own personal Yelp with a story.
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
In 2011, Emily Giffin’s first novel, Something Borrowed, hit the big screens, and yes, I paid money to see it. I apparently was one of the few who did. The story about mild manner Rachel who does the unthinkable and starts an affair with her best friend’s fiancee was one of those books that didn’t quite live up to the novel and changed so much of the original story, you found yourself making tally marks for every time you said, “Well, in the book…” Even with the addition of John Krasinski and the expansion of his character Ethan from the original book couldn’t save the film.
Still one of the most romantic line from that movie.
But it did open the door for the book’s sequel, Something Blue, to hit the big screen.
— Emily Giffin (@emilygiffin) May 18, 2015
Taken from the perspective of Darcy, Rachel’s former best friend and nemesis, Something Blue takes us from Darcy’s shattered path in New York City to her new beginnings in London, where she stays with Ethan. To be honest, I preferred Something Blue over Something Borrowed. The sequel had both stronger plot and character development, and although I had originally hoped Darcy would fall off a cliff in her Chanel shoes in Something Borrowed, I found myself rooting for her in Something Blue.
If anything, we would get John Krasinski back as Ethan, who we were all wishing Rachel would fall in love with. That’s a win for all of us.
What books do you wish would come to a theater near you? Let me know!