Shannon Stacey

Mustangs and movies

She lives! Tranny’s in, she fired up, and she’s off the blocks. The husband even took her for a test run. Once we trace out a *cough* slight *cough* grounding issue, she’ll be good to go. I might even get to drive her.

Anyway (lest y’all think I’m just going to talk about my car forever)…

During a movie meme post, Màili said in response to the following question:

One book I’d like to see made into a movie:

I’m not convinced that a traditional romance novel can be made into a feature film. Novels of other genres, yes, but traditional romance novels? I don’t think so.

I’ve been too sick/busy/etc to really come up with a list of romance novels I think would make good movies (although I hope to get to that soon), but I have thought about a couple of my favorite romantic movies and how they might translate to the page.

Would Hope Floats make a good book? (I’m going here on the assumption it isn’t, though, in truth, I have no clue.) I could see Curtiss Ann Matlock writing it. But I’m not sure how engaging it would be without the visual overload that is Harry Connick Jr. Could his character have been captured on the page? I don’t know.

Would French Kiss succeed without Kevin Kline’s sublimeness and Meg Ryan’s…Meg Ryan-ness? Somehow I don’t think “Spasm! Spasm!” would have worked in a book.

The Wedding Planner I can see as a book. My Best Friend’s Wedding. The Runaway Bride.

(Damn. The whole wedding thing is coincidental, I swear.)

What do you guys think? What’s your favorite romantic movie and, if it wasn’t based on a book, would it make a good romance novel?

12 comments to “Mustangs and movies”

  1. Anna Lucia
      · August 26th, 2005 at 6:43 am · Link

    Well, you’ve got it already with French Kiss. Although I think a good, voice-heavy writer could have written that.

    So many of the romantic movies I see FEEL like books, to me. Which is eternally annoying when the film gets accolades, but the books are trash. Iknow, I know. Old story, but although I’m usually sanguine about the lack of respect issue, the film/book division makes me go :wtf:

    I haven’t seen Maili’s original post, but I’m not sure I agree with her. Not least because I think the average movie goer is less discerning and critical than the average romance reader. We’ve got the knack of going to the movies just to be entertained down pat. We tend to be a bit more pernickity with our books.

    (Yes, I’ve been to the doctor. Twice. “You’re sick and eventually you’ll get better.” He’s right. But how are you?)

  2. Alison
      · August 26th, 2005 at 10:39 am · Link

    I’m not a romantic movie fan, and certainly not an old classic romantic movie fan, but I do have a fave. ALWAYS with Holly Hunter, Brad Davis, and Richard Dreyfus. I guess it’s a bit of a paranormal romantic comedy/tragedy I guess, but it totally has an all over HEA and I adore it.

    I’ve seen My Best Friend’s Wedding and Runaway Bride and French Kiss, but found all of them forgettable. I don’t even remember what Spasm Spasm is, heh.

  3. Walt
      · August 26th, 2005 at 11:12 am · Link

    A lot of romance movies, if made into books, wouldn’t be considered tradtional romances by the RWA, that’s for sure.

    The woman who wrote “Legally Blonde” and “10 Things I Hate About You” wrote “The Bachelorette Party”
    and that’s going to be made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman.

    that said, I forget the question

  4. Karen Templeton
      · August 26th, 2005 at 11:30 am · Link

    Hmm. . .well, romantic movies aren’t generally littered with lovescenes the way most romance novels are. :wink: In fact, very often nuthin’ happens until the kiss near the end, even these days. Also, many romance novels depend heavily on interior dialogue and lush descriptions, neither of which work particularly well in a visual format. Which is why so few novels of any kind translate well to screen, Harry Potter being a possible exception.

    That said, whether or not one can/could successfully adapt a romance novel to film depends on two things: 1) How the novel is structured to begin with and 2) the screenwriter’s sensitivity when doing adaptation.

    Romance novels that are more plot/dialogue heavy and less introspective already have a leg up, obviously. But with the fairly large number of first person chick or teen lit novels being turned into movies, introspection by itself shouldn’t be a barrier. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of first person book adaptations in which the protag either talks to the camera (HIGH FIDELITY, among others) or there’s a voice over, a device used more in foreign films than American, I think. Or the introspection can be turned into dialogue or acted out in other ways.

    As for “Spasm! Spasm!” — or, for that matter, Ryan’s famous deli scene in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY — clearly it’s the performer who brings that part of the script to life. But *I* can imagine either of those scenes written, actually. Conversely, a good screenwriter/director knows how to add in moments that build on, but remain true to, the tone of the original material, but are more suited to a visual medium.

    In any case, I’ve seen plenty of movies that are in essence romnce novels (GARDEN STATE comes to mind), complete with conflict, black moments and resolutions. The elements of a novel that a script leaves out are simply visualized instead of explained. So, yeah, I think it can be done. Why romance novels AREN’T adapted more, however, I think has far more to do with the perception of their not being WORTHY of being adapted (y’know, because they’re not “real” books and all :eyebrow:) than their suitability to film.

  5. Kate
      · August 26th, 2005 at 11:51 am · Link

    I think a book I didn’t particularly love is about to be released as a movie starring Reese Witherspoon, who looks particularly undishy in the ads for the movioe. Plot is–Doctor dies, haunts her old apartment, falls for the new tenant.. I KNOW I’ve read it before at least once.

    Dead people in love!

    Never got the appeal of Ghost–but loved Truly Madly Deeply. Especially all the dead guys sitting around watching the tube.

  6. charlie
      · August 26th, 2005 at 9:01 pm · Link

    Braveheart and Last of the Mohicans

  7. Shelly
      · August 26th, 2005 at 10:00 pm · Link

    I would love The Cutting Edge as a book!

  8. Suzanne
      · August 27th, 2005 at 7:26 am · Link

    I *love* French Kiss! I’ve always thought it would make a great book!!!! It’s one of the few movies (not a kid movie, LOL) that I own.

  9. Shannon
      · August 27th, 2005 at 5:08 pm · Link

    Kate, I’m semi-plotting a story about a ghost. We’ll see how it goes. :shrug:

    I haven’t see The Cutting Edge OR Truly Madly Deeply. (I’d actually never heard of The Cutting Edge until I just looked it up on Amazon.)

    Yes, Charlie. Let’s sit around and hope like mad they make Last of The Mohicans into a book. :eyebrow:

    I don’t remember the HEA in Always. I remember bawling. :cry: But I don’t remember how it ends. :shrug:

    Ooh, you know which books I’d love to see made into movies? SEP’s Chicago Stars series. :nod: I’d love to see Phoebe and Dan on the big screen.

  10. Sunny Lyn
      · August 28th, 2005 at 3:24 am · Link

    Big time Aaron Sorkin fan here (and yes a “West Wing” hag), so I’d like to see “The American President” as a romance novel. Ditto for the Geena Davis movie “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, Helen Hunt & Jack Nicholson’s “As Good As It Gets”, and another Nicholson movie (love this woman’s script writing) by Nancy Meyers, “Something’s Gotta Give”. :hide:

  11. Shannon
      · August 28th, 2005 at 10:46 pm · Link

    I didn’t care for The Long Kiss Goodnight very much. I’m not sure why, other than a feeling I would have liked it more had Geena Davis not starred. I usually like her, just not in that movie. (Actually I’m not even sure if I watched the entire movie. I should rent it again and see if I was just in a bad mood that day.)

    I :love: The American President, and you’re probably right about it being a good romance novel. The brilliance of that movie lies in the dialogue, I think, and it would probably sparkle on paper. I think I’ve actually used an example or two from that movie in previous posts. Even my husband considers that movie a favorite, which still shocks the heck out of me. Great movie.

    I love As Good As It Gets (I actually own that one), but I love it as a “buddy” movie. I’ve never, ever bought the Helen Hunt, Jack Nicholson HEA, and it ruins the ending for me. Sometimes I’ll watch it right up until that point, then shut it off. Truly brilliant writing in that movie, though.

    I haven’t seen the one he did with Diane Keaton, where he’s supposed to be with the daughter or something. I’d like to, because it looks great. I bought About Schmidt, thinking it would be along the same lines, but…not such a good movie, that. And definitely no romance novel. :eyebrow:

  12. camrynne
      · September 30th, 2005 at 10:05 am · Link

    I you want to see the most beautiful romances of all time, watch classic romantic movies. Watching movies that talk about relationships or people falling in love is always fun and exciting. Beside, we can learn a lot, too, in them. Anyway, here is a list of my all time favorite romantic movies:
    1. Casablanca 2. An Affair to Remember 3. Life is Beautiful 4. Romeo and Juliet 5. Cinema Paradiso 6. Sound of Music 7. Sense and Sensibility. I hope you’ve already watched them or if you haven’t, I hope you’ll enjoy viewing them.

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