Please allow me a moment to deviate from book reviews to tell you about my Valentine’s day/weekend. My boyfriend is one of those guys that rolls his eyes about Valentine’s Day, its commercialism and overall Hallmark-holiday status. I, in turn remind him that he is welcome to buy me flowers any day of the year, not just Valentine’s Day, so if he’s really not into it, that’s fine. (He is smart enough to know that he should probably bring home flowers on February 14th, since that’s the only day of the year he ever buys me flowers! And also really yummy chocolate… Thanks babe!) Neither of us are very gushy romantics and don’t care for the demonstration of getting dressed up for a prix-fixe menu and a restaurant with a 6:00 or 8:00 sitting. So instead I made a fancy dinner at home and we just enjoyed each others company, quietly and comfortably.
On our usual Saturday date-night, we decided to try something different and went out for dinner at a top-floor restaurant with live jazz music, thinking we’d have a slow dinner with cocktails and enjoy the music and city views. And then we were presented with the Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu and watched all of the dressed up couples on their romantic nights out…
My valentine to him was a movie and a book, of course. He is almost as book-hungry as me, but he’s more of a non-fiction reader, choosing biography, methodology and philosophy over say, a good murder mystery. Lately he is into the small business culture so I chose this title:
Since I’m a non-fiction novice, I did consult a few reviews on Amazon and Goodreads before selecting the book (something I avoid when choosing books for myself) and I also read a great article that appeared in Forbes endorsing the quality of information and advice. I’ll get back to you with boyfriend’s review when he is done!
Because what I really wanted to talk about is the movie… I gave him a copy of Pitch Perfect.
This was not a gag gift. My 35 year-old, non-fiction reading boyfriend loves this movie. He walks around the house singing songs from its soundtrack, he knows the mash-ups and he tells me little facts about the production of the movie everytime we watch it. And it just makes me laugh. Not at him, well not at him to make fun of him, but at him because it’s just so funny to watch him get so into a musical-comedy!
So after dinner Saturday night, we went home and watched Pitch Perfect (again). And I was treated to his version of the soundtrack (also funny because he doesn’t always know the right words to a song, but sings with confidence anyway). And then at the end of the credits I see “Based on the book by Mickey Rapkin.” Huh? How was this auditory treat a book, my fiction driven mind wants to ask. A little googling and, silly me, it was a non-fiction book about collegiate a cappella competition.
But that got me thinking and googling a little more… What other movies are unknowingly based on non-fiction books? Some that I found interesting:
Friday Night Lights (Geoffrey Douglas), Apocalypse Now (Michael Herr), Adaptation (Susan Orlean), Mean Girls (Rosalind Wiseman), Full Metal Jacket (Gustav Hasford), Love and Other Drugs (Jamie Reidy).
Anybody know of any more? Please share, I’m intrigued!
Also since I’m reading several books that are about to become movies, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on cases where the movie is better than the book. Do you have an example where the film adaptation simply out-shined the original?