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How To Deal With YA Film Adaptations

Is it possible to make a GOOD film adaptation of a YA book? Posh dares to dream.

How To Deal With YA Film Adaptations

Ok, so before I get into this post, let's all agree on something:

Film adaptations of books are never as good as the original material.

Sure, there's some exceptions, but overall, that's pretty much a fact. Ok? Ok.

Now that we've all signed that treaty, I am free to say that I STILL GET REALLY EXCITED ABOUT MOVIES BASED ON MY FAVORITE BOOKS! MUHAHAA I tricked you guys!! Suckas! Wait, what? You used invisible ink on the treaty? DANG IT.

Seriously, though, I really do turn into a total spazz about film adaptations. Even though I KNOW it can turn out really, really badly (please, no one bring up Time Traveler's You-Know-Who or I will have to go lie down and never finish this entry). I can't help it! I love watching scenes imagined in my head played out with a million dollar budget and really good looking people. Cos sometimes money makes things better than the imagination can. That's right I SAID IT (all of my teachers just collectively rolled in their graves, and most of them aren't actually dead yet).

I can still remember my EXTREME EXCITEMENT when I found out that The Babysitters Club was gonna be a movie. I went straight to my neighborhood Walden Books (holla!) and purchased the book-based-on-the-movie-based-on-the-book, complete with cast pictures! And I was in high school, y'all! Woo-hoo!

That movie obvs turned out to be extremely heinous, the only redeeming quality being Rachel Leigh Cook playing Mary Anne cos she's so pretty! Ok and also I had a super crush on Austin O'Brien (Whatever happened to that guy? Wait he was on an ep of Bones?! How did I miss that?) so I approved his casting as Logan in spite of his horrible, HORRIBLE "Louisville" accent.

Ok, so I'm not exactly proving my point here.

Wait, yes I am. Cos I WAS excited. Until I saw the movie.

In a similar vein (yeah, hand me another shovel!), I was ECSTATIC when How To Deal came out, since it was a combo of two books by Sarah Dessen (LIGHT OF MY LIFE). more importantly, it starred MANDY MOORE (OTHER LIGHT OF MY LIFE) who I pretty much cast in every single YA book I read because she is just SO GREAT and um let's not forget about PERSON-MOST-LIKELY-TO-NEED-TO-BE-MY-CRAZY-AUNT, Allison Janney!!!!

Everything about this movie was PERFECT... except the movie itself. D'oh. There was just something off about it that left me feeling really unsatisfied as the credits rolled.

I do have to say, though, I still covet Mandy's wardrobe, and that Trent Ford dude? Preeeeetty fine!!!

Ok so all of this highly scientific analysis leads me to the question: has a GOOD movie ever been made of a YA book?

I don't consider Harry Potter to really be YA (although the later books, ok, maybe), so let's just say, BESIDES Harry Potter?

Well, there's... and then what about... huh. I actually can't think of one!! WOW. So there really is no way I can justify my continued excitement about movie adaptations except to say that I get easily excited about pretty much everything. Just like a puppy! So it's a cute quality! Right? Um... DANG IT, Hollywood, I fall for it EVERY TIME! What a fool I've been!

But guess what? Fools suffer gladly! Or whatever! Cos when I heard about Zack Galifianakis' possible participation in It's Kind of a Funny Story, of COURSE I completely spazzed! So then I looked it up on IMDB, and I discovered that Emma Roberts will be playing Noelle. Then i wondered, "Hmm, what else has Emma Roberts been in?" I looked HER up on IMDB, only to discover that she is ALSO starring in...


Given my love for the book, of course I was totally freaking out, esp. when I saw that ANTON YELCHIN IS IN IT?!! THE SAME ANTON YELCHIN THAT I PERSONALLY CAST AS WILL for the FYA version of the movie?!!!! Hollywood you better not be effing with me!!!!

But... wait, why is everyone else in the movie Japanese? And why are the characters names different? Why is will now known as ACE ZUCKERMAN? WTF?!!

Is this all some big joke to you, Hollywood? Do you ENJOY doing a little stompy victory dance over my tattered film adaptation dreams? Esp. when you KNOW how excited I get?!! Remember, I'm like a puppy. No one likes people who are mean to puppies!

Seriously, though, someone please explain the Japanese thing to me? And yes, it's the same book, cos Gabrielle Zevin is the author of the screenplay.

While I take a minute to nurse my wounds (don't worry, I'll be back to Full Excitement Levels after a minute-- just like a... ok. This is the last time I'll use the puppy analogy, I promise. PUPPIES!), feel free to weigh in. Are there any good film adaptations of YA movies? And which books do you (foolishly) dream about seeing on the silver screen? In addition to The Hunger Games, obvs!

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).