I’ll be the first to admit I’m that person who says “the book was so much better” after almost every single movie I watch. And I’m that person who won’t go see a movie until I’ve read the book first. So yes, when it comes to books vs. movie adaptations I am normally (with maybe one or two exceptions) on the side of books. But what about those movies that are not based on books? What is their value as compared to books in general?
For a while now, I have been considering getting a tattoo. Now I have nothing against people with any kind of tattoo (and I understand the reason for getting almost anything) but for me personally, a quote is the only thing that will do. And quotes come exclusively from writers and books right? Well, maybe not.
Recently while thinking about some of my favourite quotes, and looking all over the internet for tattoo ideas I came across something I really liked. A simple little tattoo in a messy script reading “make it count.” Some of you might not recognize this, but I did right away. It’s the note written by the one and only Jack Dawson. Yes, it’s from Titanic, which happens to be my favourite movie.
I told a friend of mine that this quote was a serious contender for the tattoo I was considering getting. Her reply was not quite what I suspected. She said something like, “No, I would never get a quote that wasn’t from literature.”
What my friend was implying was that literature is always better, classier and more intelligent than movies. That a quote from a movie would be too degrading or silly to have etched on my body forever. And that really got me thinking. I wondered if that was true. Up until this point, I had kind of lived by that same idea. If given the choice between a book and a movie, one should always choose a book, right? Wrong. At least, that’s the conclusion I came to.
What if I had gone to my friend with a quote from 50 Shades of Grey? Would she have nodded and accepted it? Probably not, but then again that’s an extreme example (and I believe there are plenty of people out there who don’t even consider it literature).
But what about something a little more accepted? Let’s say James Patterson. James Patterson is an excellent writer, but are his books automatically of more value than Titanic just because they are books? I don’t think so. I think Titanic and plenty of other movies have something great to say about life and love. Something a lot greater than plenty of books. Even famous ones. Even, dare I say it, some classics.
So I’ve made it my mission to stop judging a movie by the fact that it’s a movie. And I’ve realized I need to stop pretending to love and understand some books just because everyone talks about what a great contribution to literature they are. Sometimes a book speaks to you. Sometimes a movie does. And that’s okay. A movie can be just as valuable, just as intelligent, and just as classy as a book. Sometimes even more so.
Let me know your thoughts about literature vs movies in the comments!