Scott Pilgrim and the double edged sword of movie adaptations

In “movie adaptation” news:

Eat Pray Love, writer Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir of her post-divorce odyssey through Italy, India and Indonesia, has recently been wrapped up for the silver screen with Julia Roberts in the starring role. 160-some-odd weeks on the New York Times bestseller list is likely to make a major motion picture all but inevitable.

But, for more teen-leaning fare, some filmmakers are commendably remembering to honor the arts of the imaginative contemporary juvenile books, turning their camera lenses to the young adult and graphic novel shelves of bookstores (and libraries).

Last spring, Greg Heffley’s endearing minimalist comic-book/novel-hybird, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was adapted by 20th Century Fox. The film version of this quirky middle school documentarian received mixed reviews, most citing the typical impediment of, essentially, “…not being as good as the book.”

Well, another teen tale is being spruced up for the big screen – Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Canadian-spun Manga-styled comic book series Scott Pilgrim.

The –Ferndale Public Library– news item here is that we just received the 6th volume of this series, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour.

Here’s a fun feature from Scholastic “Favorite Books and their Movie Versions”

From a library’s perspective – the whole “movie adaptation” thing can be a double-edged sword, but, from one perspective it can do more good than bad.

Yes, there is the purist dispute of a film version debasing the original beauty of a book’s story/experience/characters and message. But, as was personally true for this writer, it was the Harry Potter films that finally pushed me to give in to what had already been a worldwide phenomenon and read them myself, because, admittedly, there was the instantaneous magic and wow-factor of those films that led me to seek more of that experience.

Libraries often pick up on this wow-factor – because when certain books, most often series books (like Scott Pilgrim) make their way to the movie house, libraries will anticipate that following flood of curious readers with ticket stubs in their pockets and put out displays highlighting the book, or, most rewardingly, similar books.

Scott Pilgrim can thus hopefully spur readers to dive into our (FPL)’s commendable manga and graphic novel section. While Eat Prey Love can open up our collection of memories and biographies: We just got Pat Benatar’s Between a Heart and a Rock Place and John Waters’ Role Models!)

But, given, films often fail to capture the magic of the books. (Though I rarely hear anyone complain about the Lord of the Rings trilogy. While similarly, some books should never ever be attempted, ->here’s a fun list from Paste magazine on that subject).

But just in case you love the film – come read the original – and then get lost in similar fare. Or, in case you hated the film – come read the original – and experience the real deal.

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