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April 23, 2010

Take Your Book Club to the Movies

Posted by Dana

One of the things that keeps any group fresh is change.  If you always meet at someone's house and have the same hummus and pita or cheese and crackers, maybe now is the time for change.  Why not get out of the house and go check out a movie based on this month's book?  Go to an early show and then grab a bite to eat after so you can discuss how the book and movie differed, what you liked and didn't and why you thought the leading man should've been played by someone else.

Great books (and mediocre ones too) are constantly being made into movies, so you can always find something.  Not sure what's out or coming out?  Check out's Books Into Movies page.

tattoo.jpgWondering why I bring this up now?  Well, I just went out to see the Swedish film adaptation of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO.  It's long and a bit graphic (just like the book) and you will have to read subtitles, but it's well worth it.  Comparing the book to the movie will be a great discussion and comparing this movie to what you think the future Hollywood version will be like should also be fun.

For me, the casting was really interesting.  Unlike Hollywood, and no offense to the Swedish stars, but they actually look the way they are described in the book.  Like real people.  They're not Hollywood buff.  No one appeared to have any botox in their foreheads and there were attractive women that were actually over 40 and looked it.  Yay for Sweden.  Hollywood should take a lesson.  Great movie.  Wonderfully acted and not all smoke and mirrors!

As for other books-into-movies, I haven't gotten around to checking out the two recent movies based on Nicholas Sparks books, DEAR JOHN and THE LAST SONG, but both looked interesting.  I hate to admit that I didn't make it to the theater for THE BLIND SIDE, but now that it's out on video I'll definitely being Netflixing it.  (And there's another idea for book club, rent the DVD of whichever book you're reading and watch and discuss right from home!)

Coming soon, we have EAT, PRAY, LOVE which is scheduled to come out in August (and which I think almost every book club has read!)  I've heard a few negative comments about Julia Roberts playing the lead - but I'm reserving judgement until I see it.

Any movies that have worked great for your group?  Any you loved or hated?  Feel free to share here in the comments, or email me at

-- Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor