Here's this weeks Weekly Geek:
Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could "unsee," and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?
My pick is the 1995 TV Movie of From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Mixed Up Files was my favorite book when I was in fifth grade. It was also one of the first book I listened to on audio (on cassette!) I would listen to the book every night before I went to be for weeks and was always checking it out from the library. The idea of running away and living in a muesuem like Claudia and Jamie do just seemed so fabulous to me-and then you add in a mystery about art??? I was hooked.
So when my mom opened the TV Guide two years later and said "look what's going to be on!" I was speechless. (Which for 13 year old me was something that never happened!) I was so excited-I couldn't wait. My favorite book would now come to life and Lauren Bacall was Mrs. Frankweiler-she was just like I pictured.
But when the movie came on later that week, after all my excitedness and eager anticipation, I was sadly dissapointed. (I think I even cried) They ruined it! They changed parts, they left parts out, the characters weren't what I had pictured. Claudia and Jamie were annoying and the mystery totally fell flat. Plus, where the magic of living in a museum-it got lost in the script and it didn't seem nearly as cool this time around. Partly I was so annoyed because it was a made of TV movie (how good could it end up being?), but mostly I felt cheated. My favorite book ever and this movie didn't keep the spirit or the fun of the book.
In college, I finally watched it again when my roommate's sisters were over and they were reading the book. Now years later, I didn't remember what exactly had made me so mad with this adaptation, but I knew it wasn't the same. I won't watch the movie again and I'll take the book version over the movie any day!