Top 10 Book To Screen Adaptations

Nowadays it seems that almost every new release was originally a novel. There is something exciting, and perhaps a little intriguing, in seeing your favourite stories and characters come to life before your eyes. With the world eagerly awaiting the next big adaptation, Elizabeth Gilbert’s
Eat Pray Love, to hit cinemas, we decided to count down some of our favourite book-to-screen adaptations.

Sex and the City – Candance Bushnell

The fashion, the flirting, and those four feisty Manhattan women! Loosely based on Bushnell’s own stint as a newspaper columnist, this novel turned television series turned worldwide phenomenon became a go-to for women on anything sex, relationships and fashion.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

A touching story about four spirited sisters growing up during the Civil War. There have been many adaptations of this popular novel but the 1994 version captures the highs and lows of Alcott’s story to perfection with a star-studded cast- Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon and Christian Bale.

Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

Everyone can relate to at least one of poor Bridget’s struggles which she dutifully documents in her diary- love, career, work, weight. But that is not why we love her- she is honest and optimistic, even whilst living out ones worst nightmares. Rumour has it that the West End will host a musical version of the story in 2011- London, anyone?

Atonement – Ian Mcewan

This film has it all- love, drama, betrayal, and mystery. For the men, there is war and fighting scenes. For the women, there is that green dress. While those who love the novel may be left a little disenchanted with large portions of the story cut and an alternate ending, director Joe Wright’s quirky filming style makes for an interesting watch.

Marley and Me – John Grogan

Who knew a story about a mischievous family pet could have us reaching for the tissues to wipe away tears of both laughter and sadness? Adapted from the true story of the Grogan family and their…energetic pet Labrador Marley, this touching film starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston
will have you itching for a trip to the pet store.

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

The ultimate girl’s movie! Admitting you haven’t seen this film is likely to result in gasps of horror. Though it may appear to be another typical tragic love story- young couple torn apart by judgemental family, this film offers much more. It makes true love seem possible, without seeming
unrealistic or over-the-top.

Looking For Alibrandi – Marlina Marchetta

This is the story of Josephine Alibrandi; growing up in Sydney, dealing with her final year of high school, complicated relationships with friends, boys, and overbearing Italian relatives. She is cheeky, confident and conflicted. We don’t just love this story because it is set in Australia, filmed in Australia and written by an Australian- though it helps!

Yes Man – Danny Wallace

Based loosely on the true story of a cynical man who decides to “Yes” to every opportunity, offer or request presented to him. Sounds easy, right? Not quite, though the journey is hilarious. Carl, played by comical Jim Carrey, gets into all sorts of weird and wacky situations- from liaisons with an elderly neighbour, to serenading a stranger to stop him jumping off a building. This is one you can watch over and over.

My Sister’s Keep – Jodi Picoult

Warning: this movie will make you cry, but it is worth it. There are slight differences between the book and the film adaptation, particularly the ending, however the story is intensely heart-warming. It is rare to see Cameron Diaz in a serious role, but she is exceptional as the strong-willed mother.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

While the 1995 BBC version of this classic story is quite lengthy at 4.5 hours, it is well worth the effort to watch. You are transported back to 19th century England, with the luscious scenery, Regency period costumes (think gowns, bonnets, gloves) and lively dancing. If that doesn’t do it for you, Colin Firth as the broody Mr Darcy is reason enough to watch!

There are plenty more where they came from! What are your favourite book-to-screen adaptations?