Someone just told me they saw a trailer for Princess Diaries 2 at the movies this weekend, so I hurried over to Apple.com to look for myself (you can see all sorts of trailers there) and I saw that the movie they were talking about wasn't Princess Diaries 2, but Ella Enchanted, which is also about royalty and stars Anne Hathaway.
So after I watched the trailer, I went to Imdb.com (which is where you can go to read about any movie ever made) to see what people were saying about Ella Enchanted the movie (I read the book) and there were all these ENRAGED posts from people who feel betrayed because the movie is different than the book.
And then I just had to laugh and laugh.
First of all, I loved the book Ella Enchanted, but I can tell from the trailer that the movie—while different from the book—is going to be loads of fun. Yeah, it's not going to be EXACTLY like the book. But who cares?
More importantly, from a reader's point-of-view, it's going to make Ella Enchanted a huge bestseller. Not that Gail Carson Levine needs help in that arena, because she's already a major, award-winning, best-selling author.
But I don't get why, if readers TRULY do love a book, they would be so angry about something that is ONLY GOING TO SELL MORE COPIES OF THIS BOOK. I mean, so many more people who otherwise would never have heard of this book are going to be buying Ella Enchanted. The movie is SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF ELLA.
And okay, maybe the movie isn't EXACTLY like the book. But the readers will find that out for themselves when they buy the book. Probably, most of them will like the book better–readers almost always do.
But not ALL of them. I know for a fact that not everybody who picked up the Princess Diaries after seeing the movie was thrilled with the book. Some of them wanted it to be just like the movie (i.e.—okay for 6 year olds. Which the book is definitely not. Hence a lot of the hate mail I got over the spermicide line. Because God forbid kids should know about spermicide, which helps stop the spread of HIV and saves lives. But I digress).
Still, I do know that TONS of people who would never even READ a book–had never read one before in their LIVES–picked up a copy of Princess Diaries after seeing the movie, and loved it…and bought more books (many of which were by me).
And as a community of readers, isn't that what we want? MORE people to read the books we love? Because, whatever sense of ownership we feel about that book, the truth is, no matter how different the movie is from the book, that movie is going to sell tons of copies of that book, and so tons of people are going to read and enjoy the same story we love so much.
I don't know. I just don't get why people don't think of it this way, instead of getting all bent of shape because the movie isn't EXACTLY like the book. Which is impossible anyway, because text does not translate to film all that well. As I know only too well, having tried to write a screenplay or two myself. It's really HARD.
I just think that Ella Enchanted fans, if they're TRUE fans, should be jumping for joy. Because thousands of people are going to be reading Ella Enchanted because of the movie, and those same thousands of people are going to be converted into die-hard Gail Carson Levine fans.
And how can that be a bad thing?
PS The prince in the movie looks totally hot. It will be out April 9th. I made a mistake and said the 19th before, but it's the 9th. And I still wouldn't miss it if I were you.
PPS THE DIABOLICAL VALENTINE'S DAY PLAN WILL BE POSTED SOON!!!