Thursday, July 22, 2010

why I don't like YA movie adaptations...

I don't really know how this thought came to me*, but I thought I might as well run with it because YA movies are like all the rage recently. So why aren't I remotely excited for most prospective examples (Hunger Games, Wake, Paper Towns, etc)?

I'll give you the short and sweet answer: the acting isn't good enough.

Okay, don't flame me, I'll admit that I am the worst actress in the world, but something that ruins movies worse than cheesy lines is unconvincing acting chops. In a movie, I would always take stellar acting/weird plot over horrid acting/fantastic plot.

Oh, we like lists (these are more mainstream movies/novels):
  • Every word out of Jeremy Iron's Ed Speelers (thank you celi.a! my bad!) (Eragon) mouth sounds rehearsed and recited. Getting an "unknown actor" sure comes back and bites ya in the arse.
  • Robert Pattinson's attempt at making his character a tortured soul ends up with him looking eternally constipated. Kristen Stewart's Bella is a travesty.
  • Blake Lively might be good on Gossip Girl (my guilty pleasure) but she wasn't that talented (plus she ran really weirdly) in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
  • Anne Hathaway in Ella Enchanted grated my nerves.
  • Logan Lerman from Percy Jackson, while cute (okay... you can call me weird now...) said nothing that made him believable to be the embodiment of a widely appealing character.
  • I couldn't even finish watching Stormbreaker featuring (the insanely attractive) Alex Pettyfer because of a mix of both cringe-worthy lines (and delivery of said lines) and messed up plot.
  • And don't even get me started on Harry Potter (please don't hate me!). I don't not enjoy the movies because of the weird adapted plot, it's because I never believe the actors are the beloved characters.

All these things aren't meant to be a shot at the movie or the actors themseleves, but I personally think that with (quite) a few exceptions, teen actors just aren't as good at acting as adults (I'll say it again, my opinion).

I need an actor to be able to deliver his lines in a way that makes me, the audience, believe them. I need words to come from the heart, to be that much more real in order for me to enjoy a particular scene. If this isn't possible, suspension of disbelief is broken, and I am back to staring at the pimple (or the perfect face) on the actor's forhead. Not immersed in the movie.


Because in a movie about teens, I think it would be smart to cast teen (or younger adult) actors, not 25 year olds to play Katniss. Call me petty, but I think their performances while heartfelt, may not be the very best to what I am used to watching, thus leaving me just a bit nostalgic, wishing I had stayed away from the movie which just ruined a perfectly good book for me.

Just my two cents.

YA movies that weren't that bad: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, My Sister's Keeper (only because I was crying too much)... plus some other ones that I can't think of right now.

To You: What are your thoughts about these YA novels-turned-movies? Enter them with a feeling of dread? Itching with anticipation? Ignore them altogether and live in the peaceful bliss just knowing the book was perfect? I'd love to know!

*Disclaimer: I know everybody has posts like this but I promise I didn't steal any of your ideas. Anything we have in common is purely coincidental..

**please note that this is not an accurate representation of Edward, Bella, or me. Also, please do not be offended, it was not intended to be like that.

PS- I have the same pet peeves with child actors too. Being cute can only get you so far, but after that, your witty dialogue gets insanely anoying and forced. I'm looking at you, Jamie from
One Tree Hill. And that kid from Home Alone like 20 years ago.

PPS- looking back, my thoughts apply to teen movies in general, not specific to novels-turned-movies. But whatever xD

PPPS- Maybe later I'll write a post about how bringing my favourite characters to life makes me sad as well because they can never be what I imagined.


  1. I agree that not many YA movies are good, and I HATE it when they mess up a book I like.

  2. I agree with you. I hate it when they mess up a movie of a really good book.

    I never read the Harry Potter books. The first couple of movies were good, but last few to come out seemed kind of awkward.

  3. I do agree that I'm always hesitant when a YA goes film. The key is in the casting for sure. Case in point: Miley Cyrus in Wake sounds like a trainwreck though.
    There are a lot more misses than hits for sure, but thanks for putting Nick & Norah in the hit pile. Love that movie. I will say though that I do like the Harry Potter movies, but this may be because I couldn't get into the books, so the story is completely new to me when watching.
    Great Post!
    Kerleisha @ Collegiate Bookworm

  4. I'm always worrying about terrible movie from a great book. But most of the time, probably due to my low expectations, some movies turned out pretty decent.

    I don't know, when the book is awesome, that's good enough for me.

  5. Heeeeey! lol Gotta disagree with you on Harry Potter. To me that's the best cast anyone can get and it's pretty epic. Only one I disagree with you on lol. Everything else is a bit true lol.

    (And Jamie from One Tree Hill. -__- I have never seen a kid act like that in my life lol.)

  6. Imma let you finish, but...

    I think maybe you have the wrong name down for Eragon? I mean, I agree that Jeremy Irons' acting in that was horrific, but he's nowhere near unknown. He won an Oscar! And he was in The Mission (seriously good movie). And he plays the old dude in the film. Perhaps you meant the younger guy?

    That said, I agree on principle. I do have high hopes for Scott Pilgrim, though. Yay!

  7. I only some what agree

    Twilight I blame the director more then the acting

    New moon- Blew me away I love it more then the book

    Eclipse- LOVED IT just as much as the book

    Harry potter 1-5 was good 6 was awful however

    I also loved the choincals of narnia movie and the outsiders both were done very well

  8. The Golden Eagle- I sometimes just stay away from them altogether so i won't be disappointed :p

    Julie- never read HP?? Travesty!! :p I'm glad you kind of like the movies though, they just never worked for me after the second one :(

    Collegiate Bookworm- Yeah, if Miley Cyrus wasn't in THe Last Song, I probably would have watched it. Not going near the Wake movie TBH. Aww, I wish the HP books worked better for you, but I'm happy you like the movies!

    Fiona- Huh, you make a really good point about expectations! I'll keep that in mind, because I think it's really true!

    Michael- haha, that's totally okay, I completely respect your opinion! I guess the HP movies never really worked for me (and they totally ruined the kiss b/w harry and ginny in the 6th movie for me :p) and Oh. Jamie... *sigh*

    Celi.a- oh dear *headdesk* my bad!! Wow, I can't believe I did that, I meant Ed Speelers (fixed it) thank you!!! Speelers was *really* bad. Scott Pilgrim? Gotta goole that! :p

    Kit- my twilight friends all *loved* the second and third movies too! I haven't watched Eclipse, but the other two didn't really work for me. I'm glad you loved them though :) Hmm, I think Narnia movies and The Outsiders were both pretty good.

    thanks for all your comments guys! i love hearing your different thoughts :D

  9. I agree with most of what you said. I still don't mind most of them, and what irritates me most is bad adaptations script-wise, but they can be really irritating.

    However, as far as HP goes, I like the actors. Those are the only movies that lent me the character faces. The kids in my head are the kids in the movies. :D

    Have you watched CASTLE? I can't remember. Anyway, I think Molly Quin is an example of a FANTASTIC teen actress. So great.

  10. Lol I love this post. I enjoy watching tie-ins because I like to see how the book was adapted onscreen. Like, what the actors look like in comparison to how I envisioned the characters in my head, which plot points were kept and which were removed, the overall feel of the movie (cheap? cheesy? awesomeness?), etc etc. Most of the time what ends up happening is me trash talking 90% of the time, in my head or out loud, and thus driving my boyfriend insane. Which is a side bonus. :)

  11. Madeleine- I will agree with you there, the HP actors are what I see in my head when I read the books! And gosh, Alexis on Castle is an awesome teen actress! :)

    Kris- the casting is usually hit-or-miss for me, sometimes they are perfectly how I envisioned, other times I'm just confused. I have a weird relationship with the straying from the plot thing (HP: I'm too nit-picky i think, Nick&Norah: loved it). and haha, one day my "trash talking" of these YA movies will come back and bite me in the ass when a jaw-dropping (omg i typed "draw-jopping", not even kidding!) YA movie comes out!

  12. HAHA I know, Blake Lively run super weird in that movie!
    Love your drawing! and great post, you have some points! These kind of movies might not be the best movies around, but they're stillfun to read! (or do I watch them cause I'm still hope that one of these movies will be amazing?)


for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*