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Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Adapted from a Young Adult Novel


Reviews (and everything else in general) may be quiet over here, but the Thursday Movie Picks is going strong. This is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, in which she gives a theme per week and we are to list three movies we associate with the theme. This week’s theme: movies adapted from YA novels. It doesn’t come to a surprise that there is an influx of these movies, especially since potential franchises want to fill in the hole that the Harry Potter series has left. Some are successes and others are failures, but these YA adaptations would not be going away any time soon. Here are my picks this week:

A lot of YA adaptations were released last year, and I’ve only chosen to see three of those movies, with The Fault in Our Stars being a favorite of mine. Penned by John Green, it tells a story of two people who find love despite their personal battles. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort portrayed their characters well, though I think it’s my love for the novel that’s weighing my love for the adaptation. Laura Dern (she played the mom) stood out for me in this movie, making her performance one of my favorites of the year. 

This is a movie where I both liked and got annoyed with Anne Hathaway. In The Princess Diaries, she plays a normal girl who suddenly finds out she’s a princess. I don’t remember much from the first book (it does deviate a bit, but doesn’t diminish the movie), but the adaptation had its charm. So I was really annoyed when they got rid of Michael (I love how the succeeding books make a reference to this. Also, Mia + Michael forever) for the sequel.

As it is with YA adaptations whose source material I didn’t peruse beforehand, I was iffy with watching The Maze Runner as the slew of YA movies have been mostly disappointing that year. Instead, it emerged victorious from the group as it got generally good reviews and I decided to go watch it. I wasn’t disappointed, the maze looked simple yet complicated at the same time, and I’m definitely going to watch the sequel. The movie stood as a preview to the world that it was starting to construct, and I’m interested to see more from the franchise.

Comments

  1. I loved watching TFIOS but I think it had little to do with the film--pretty sure I just loved reliving the book. I think that one's a great example for how a very faithful to the book adaption can hurt the film.

    I love the Princess Diaries! Books especially, but the films are sweet too. Did they really reference Michael being left out of the film? Mmm, should read again I think. :D

    Great post!!!

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    1. That's why I loved TFIOS so much, it was really faithful to the book!

      I'm not sure which book it was referenced in (or maybe it was a coincidence), but book Mia mentions a movie being made about her life, but then they cut Michael out of it.

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  2. I like TFiOS but wasn't quite blown away with it. Laura Dern was definitely a stand out.

    The Princess Diaries...I only read the first book. Michael is the best friend's brother right? I remember he was very cute in the book and in the first movie too. Such a pity they left him out in the second movie.

    I read The Maze Runner, didn't like it. The boys kept so much of the nature of Glades and the Maze from Thomas for so long in the book. It was just agonizingly draggy. The movie was so much better, they told him everything withing the first day or two and just got on to the rest of the story quickly, so I much prefer the movie.

    Wandering through the Shelves

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    1. The Princess Diaries books were a lot, I don't remember much from the other books but I liked the first one. I haven't read The Maze Runner, but I was impressed by the movie and I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

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  3. I watched The Maze Runner in a drive in theater on my trip to America, to be honest the experience of using a drive in theater was more memorable than the film itself. The hacked up action sequences were also deeply annoying, but the film was mostly enjoyable.


    I might check out The Princess Diaries, but The Fault in Our Stars really isn't my thing at all.

    Nice choices, however.

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    1. I thought that The Maze Runner would be bad considering the track record of YA movies, but surprisingly it was good.

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  4. Great choices! I loved The Fault in Our Stars movie, and now I really want to read the book :)
    - Allie

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  5. Once again, I must say I always love Shailene Woodley's performance if she's in a YA adaptation. The Fault in Our Stars in one of them that I like most, mostly because of her confident portrayal of a terminally ill character.
    The Maze Runner is also a good pick, it might seem like any other adaptation, but turns out, it's very fresh.

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    1. Woodley was great in TFIOS, she did justice to the character.

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  6. I loved/hated The Fault in Our Stars...like, it was romantic and beautiful and very well made and even better acted and yet...I can't/won't ever watch it again. Being a parent...seeing children suffer/die, I just...I can't do that again.

    I shamelessly love all things Anne Hathaway, so like...LOVE The Princess Diaries, and my kids do too :-D

    I really want to see The Maze Runner...it actually looked pretty good!

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    1. Partly why Laura Dern stood out for me is because of her role as a parent. The movie is told in the teen's POV but watching Dern interact with Woodley, you can't help but think about what goes on in her mind whenever she finds herself sharing an important part of her daughter's life.

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  7. I really need to get around to Fault. I have it on my DVR. I don't remember a lot of The Princess Diaries. Weirdly enough, I only remember Mandy Moore singing that Stupid Cupid song. lol

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    1. Oh yeah, the beach scene. One of the memorable moments of that movie for me is that Mia had this weird obsession with the 'foot pop' and we get to see her have those moments for several parts of the movie.

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  8. I have a hard time with any of these movies. This is so not my category! Matt says of the Princess Diaries "I remember kinda not hating it" - and actually, from him, that's high praise. ;)

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    1. I have the same challenge sometimes, but in other categories. Princess Diaries is one of the rare times I liked Anne Hathaway in a movie, though I still have to watch more of her movies.

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  9. The Princess Diaries is so cute, I love the supporting cast of actors SO MUCH. The sequel looked just awful to me, though, so I never saw it.

    I heard a lot of not-so-good things about The Maze Runner (both the book and the movie), but I have the book and want to read it.

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    1. I wasn't a fan of the sequel, it didn't have the same charm as the first movie.

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  10. Seen all three movies, not read any of the bookd. The Princess Diaries is very cute and I was pleasantly surprised by The Maze Runner. Not a fan of TFIOS at all. It wad overly manipulative and predictable right from the start.

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    1. I kind of wished they didn't make the sequel to The Princess Diaries, as the first one was enough - it was charming! I didn't expect to like The Maze Runner either, it wasn't something that initially interested me.

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  11. I've only seen the first The Princess Diaries, it's silly good fun & I remember how hunky Chris Pine was in it ;-) Haven't seen the other two yet.

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  12. I've only seen The Princess Diaries of your picks. I'm not much of a Hathaway fan but she was okay here and of course there's Julie Andrews who always makes things better. I'm not a fan of Shailene Woodley, I think she's a terribly dull presence, but Fault turned up on several lists so I'll have to give it another look and see if the rest of the film sounds like it will balance out her being in it. I'd never heard of The Maze Runner but the synopsis sounds intriguing and with Patricia Clarkson in the cast that's enough for me to give it a go. Thanks for the heads up!

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  13. I didin't totally love TFIOS, especially the ending, which was way too warm and fuzzy to leave a good sting. But you can't beat Shailene. She is so good. The Princess Diaries I haven't seen. The Maze Runner really didn't work for me at all. The book was a bit better for me. Have you read the other books in that series? I'm not sure about it. But my students love them all.

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  14. Great picks! Fault In Our Stars was such a great fandom for me last year and Princess Diaries was such a big influence on my teenage areas. Hathaway was so fantastic.

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