Sometimes a movie is better than the book

Warm BodiesSo I recently read Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, after I’d seen the movie — twice (my teen daughter and I went to see it and then I took my husband for a date night too, since I’d ascertained he’d enjoy it). I was so thoroughly charmed by the movie, by the sweetness of the characters and the love story and the really clever witticisms sprinkled throughout that I was happy to see it in the theater twice. It was particularly a welcome good movie in the midst of what’s usually a film wasteland in January/February.

Naturally, as an avid reader, I had to check out the book. I downloaded it on my Kindle and set to it. I was dismayed primarily to find that there was A LOT of language in it (about 40 f-words: yikes!). But I also found it was a bit harsher and less “innocent” than the movie: the characters were more jaded, the dad really wasn’t a good guy even underneath his protect-everybody toughness, and it just didn’t have quite the level of sweetness and charm that I loved about the movie. Now, some people might find that welcome; I didn’t.

I can only think of one instance in which a movie was better than the book: the horribly cloying, simplistic and poorly written Bridges of Madison County was much better in film version, at least with two talented actors. I might be able to say the same for a couple of Nicholas Sparks movies, which weren’t too bad considering I really dislike his writing (I’ve already mentioned THAT).

I have yet to see “Beautiful Creatures,” but I’m guessing I may very well enjoy the movie better than the book, because I didn’t think the book was great. The supposedly intense love story lacked the sizzle and zing it should have had, and the details of the plot didn’t always come clear as they should. With the acting talent in the movie, I’m thinking it’ll be more enjoyable than the book was. But that’s just a guess.

So I’m going to be eagerly awaiting the DVD release of “Warm Bodies,” whereas I won’t be rereading the book.

Author: Cathy Carmode Lim

I'm a copy editor, writer, and book reviewer with three decades of experience. My book review website is I'm a mom of four and grandma of three.

One thought on “Sometimes a movie is better than the book”

  1. I also find it surprising when a movie is better than the book it is based on. It doesn’t happen often for me either, but the most recent one I can think of is “Dear John.” After seeing the movie, I was curious to see if the book was written as a compilation of letters. Well, it was not. And, it was horrible! I mean, the movie wasn’t the best thing ever, but at least the characters in the movie had depth. I definitely share your feelings about Nicholas Sparks, and I will check out Warm Bodies when it comes out on DVD. I hadn’t even considered watching it until your positive review!

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