Unfortunately, book-to-movie adaptations don’t always get it right. In fact, some get it very, very wrong (oh, My Sister’s Keeper, how could you do that to us?). Is it because the book is so beloved that no movie could ever do it justice? Maybe it’s the story that’s so complicated that it just doesn’t work in any other medium? No matter how you cut it, these movies can be disappointing.
On the other hand, some movie adaptations of books are actually all right. Or — dare I say it? — even better than the original. Here are three movies that are universally considered the better take on the story:
1. Forrest Gump
Tom Hanks — am I right? Actually, the movie we all love so much is completely different from the book, and the titular character is nothing like the one played so well by Mr. Hanks. The book’s Forrest Gump is slightly racially insensitive and much more sexual. On the other hand, the character played by Hanks is goofy, kindhearted and completely lovable — so how could the movie not be better?
2. The Silence of the Lambs
It’s not that the original The Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris, was bad — it wasn’t. It’s just that the movie is so darn good. With Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster brilliantly playing Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, the thrilling movie became an instant classic. (As did Chianti and fava bean pairings.)
3. Mean Girls
With quotable lines like “That’s why her hair is so big; it’s full of secrets” and “You go, Glen Coco,” this movie couldn’t help becoming a sensation among the younger generations. Although the book-to-movie comparison may not be quite fair — after all, the book it’s based on is the nonfictionalQueen Bees and Wannabes — Mean Girls is one of the most iconic teen flicks of all time. Thank you, Tina Fey.