Bad books make our heads implode and bad movies based on those same books make us want to stab ourselves in the eye. Repeatedly.
We know Hollywood butchers good books. World War Z anyone? A fantastic book that got turned into PG drivel (sorry, just thinking about it makes our eye twitch uncomfortably). But what about atrociously bad books that get turned into equally bad movies?
Believe it or not, that also happens in Hollywood. Even more shocking – some of these bad movies become blockbusters. Without further ado – top 5 atrociously bad books into bad movies adaptations. Please feel free to add your “favorites” in the comments below.
Eat, Pray, Love
“Eat, Pray, Whine”. “Me, myself and I”. “First World problems”. All of these would make for more apt (and accurate) titles.
The story goes like this – lady has it all. Career, house, husband. Lady is miserable, gets a divorce, goes to find herself. Which you know, fair enough – misery has little (or a lot, depends who you ask) to do with your socio-economic status. But rare few can ditch their jobs for a year to travel and find themselves.
Mind you – a publisher’s advance helps with that. Before you accuse us of being jealous, basement-dwelling cat ladies, we are not. Honest. Because that’s not our biggest gripe with the book.
It’s the fact that for all of this lady’s eating, praying, meditating and soul-searching, she remained far up her own ass, utterly self-absorbed and deep as a puddle. And the movie is no better. Sure, there is some nice scenery and Javier Bardem, but still…
We are aware we need to tread carefully with Twilight or the Twi-Hards’ wrath will be unleashed upon us. Let’s not discuss what any half-normal person would make of Bella, Edward and their relationship (Good God! Don’t let us get started, we have a word limit and our editor will kill us. But in all seriousness – would you want your teenage daughter to be like Bella? Really?!).
We can however discuss the fact the book is not very well written – the dialogue did not flow naturally, the story had so many fits and starts we lost count and the characters… who are these people? Because Stephenie Meyer did not spend a lot of time fleshing them out.
As for the movie? Between Kristen Stewart’s lip biting and Robert Pattinson looking like a walking commercial for Max Factor’s Shimmer Panstick… we can’t, sorry, we just can’t.
Angels & Demons
Dan Brown’s books sell. And they sell well. But they are predictable because they all follow the same formula – short chapters, cliffhanger at the end of each chapter, progressively dubious twist and turns in the plot (that you can see coming a mile off), villains who are borderline caricatures (6 foot tall albino monk for example), dashing super smart protagonists, super secret societies, you get the gist.
It’s an undemanding beach read at best. But Angels & Demons was particularly bad. The movie was even more so. Ewan McGregor must have needed the money, that’s all we can say. Before you ask why we didn’t sh*t on The Da Vinci Code….it has Ian McKellen in it.
Stephenie Meyer has the dubious distinction of having two of her books make this list. The premise of The Host was interesting – parasitic aliens invade the Earth and inhabit human bodies. One human host puts up a fight and does not want to relinquish the control of her body.
Sounds possibly interesting? But the execution was horrid. 600 pages where very little happens. It would be faster to watch the paint dry. The movie was much the same and along the same lines of pleasebeoveralreadyorwemightdieofboredom.
I Am Number Four
This book was written by Pittacus Lore, a pseudonym for James Frey (the dude who lied to Oprah) and Jobie Hughes (poor sod who was paid peanuts to do Frey’s grunt work). Frey wanted in on the YA genre and this is the result. It would be all well and good (apart for the poor sod of the writer), if the book was, you know, good? It isn’t.
The backstory – there was a kerfuffle between two planets Lorien and Mogadore. Lorien was invaded and in order to preserve their species, they sent a group of nine kids to Earth so they can go into hiding. When they become teenagers their super powers will kick in. There is also some sort of charm involved meaning the enemy can only kill them in order.
Tl; dr – let’s just say – the tag line “Three are dead, I am Number Four” is the most interesting thing about the book. And when that is the best you say, you can be bloody sure the movie will be meh. And it was.