Thursday, September 08, 2011

Please don't make movies from books!

In July of last year I read a book which completely blew my mind! So much so that I wrote a revue here on Keith’s Ramblings. It was titled One Day and written by David Nicholls. Well, here we are one year on, and a film has been made of the book starring American actress Anne Hathaway in the starring role of Emma.

Such was the popularity of the book, the premier of One Day the movie was a huge red carpet event which was held in Leicester Square in London’s West End. The massive crowd held aloft a sea of orange and white books in the hope of gaining the autographs of the stars.

Predictably, as is often the case, the movie received a luke warm reception from its legion of fans. Anne Hathaway’s ‘Yorkshire accent’ has been the subject of much ridicule from the devotees of the book who’ve seen it so far. The emotional poignancy of many of the scenes has been watered down or missed out altogether.

David Nicholls’s previous book was also made the subject of a movie. The novel Starter for Ten was simply brilliant. A couple of weeks ago I read it on a plane during a flight to Egypt; I couldn’t help but chuckle out loud, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers in the adjacent seats! Then a couple of days ago I managed to get a copy of the movie, and surprise surprise, the film was a disaster. Scenes were dropped, characters somehow changed nationalities, and the entire experience was diluted.

The problem with creating cinematic dramas from books seems to be in the limited time available to the film maker. In the case of One Day, twenty years had to be compressed into ninety minutes. It is just impossible.

David Nicholls has three titles to his credit. Before he wrote One Day And Starter for Ten he came up with one of the funniest tales of all time, The Understudy. As far as I’m aware it’s managed to avoid a movie version. I sincerely hope it never gets the silver screen treatment.

Currently the number one best selling book in the UK is One Day. Number two is Starter for Ten and number four, The Understudy; amazing, but hardly surprising. I can’t wait to see what appears next from the pen of David Nicholls.


  1. I honestly can not remember ever watching a movie made from a book being any good.
    Possible exception would be James Bond and maybe Harry Potter!
    Even Gone with the Wind was a flop...... book to movie wise!

  2. I totally agree Haven't read these books but thanks for the tip I will look out for it or maybe there is an e-book of it as I just bought myself a kindle :)



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