So my family and I went to see I Am Number Four recently. We enjoyed it. And, as I tend to do, much to my husband's dismay, I spent the entire car ride home comparing the book to the movie. (Hey, I've gotten better. At least I don't do this DURING the movie anymore. During the fourth Harry Potter movie, I kept leaning over and whispering to him what was different) :D We were at home though, so it isn't quite as bad as it sounds :D
Now, as adaptations go, I Am Number Four was pretty good. Stayed close to the book and the differences were understandable and not so far beyond the book that they were in another realm entirely. So all in all, I left having enjoyed the movie more than being irritated by its differences from the book.
I should probably explain that I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to movie adaptations. I tend to love the books so much that I just really hate when the movie versions stray too far. Like the HBO series True Blood. The Sookie Stackhouse books are among my favorites so I was a bit sad (and annoyed) when the cable series not only strayed but took a sky dive from the books' plotlines. Now, I do actually like the series, for the most part, usually, (mostly because of Alexander Skaarsgard if I'm going to be honest) :D but man, some of the storylines they throw in there are just stroke inducing for me.
I also hesitate to watch historical movies that are based on real life events or people for the same reason. I tried to watch The Tudors but the historical inaccuracies bugged me so much I just couldn't get into it. I love period films, but if they are based on real events, they gotta be accurate or I start to twitch :) And I start to announce to everyone (in a considerately quiet voice, or after the movie if I'm being really good) that what they just saw isn't what really happened. Hey, one of my degrees is in History....I have issues about that kind of thing :)
After we saw I Am Number Four, I thought of other book-to-movie adaptations I enjoyed. The Twilight series (though there are definitely aspects of the films I don't like); The Firm and The Client (John Grisham books turned movies) - these were probably the first book adaptations I'd ever seen that stayed really close to the book; movies based on the classics like Jane Eyre and Emma; Ella Enchanted (I actually saw the movie first on this one and read the book second...and sort of liked the movie better :) ; and the Harry Potter films - there are of course many things that get left out of the films and the books are sooo much better, but over all the movies are pretty great.
So, all this got me wondering if I am the only adaptation snob out there. Can you enjoy a movie for itself and disregard the book it is supposed to be bringing to life? Or do you want the movie to stay as close to the book as possible?