Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Movies Based on Self-Help Books?

Almost two years ago, I was waiting to get "He's Just Not That Into You" from Netflix and (just before I received it, I saw it for sale at work).  A while before it arrived in the mailbox, I looked at the plot description on Netflix which stated that the movie was based on  the best selling book by Greg Behrendt.  Having been guilty of not reading a book before seeing the movie adaptation, I decide to seek this out at the library, only to find it was a self-help book.  WTF?  I wondered.  Do I need to read a self-help book for this reason?  I decided that was not necessary. And how do you base a movie on a book that has no story? Sounds like it could be boring. And the plot lines would have to be contrived.  Sounds like something someone might do in a creative writing class: take a headline, newspaper article, or something from an advice book with no plot or storyline and create one.  Yeah, that could be fun, depending how creative different people are.

When I looked up the movie on, there was a question asking of there are other books based on self-help books and the answer reads:
Mean Girls (2004) is based on the non-fiction book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (2002) by Rosalind Wiseman, founder of the Empower Program, a national violence-prevention program. Wiseman's book describes how female high school social cliques operate and the effect they can have on girls. Sex and the Single Girl (1964) is based on the guide for single women of that title by Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown. Although not explicit by today's standards, the book was considered somewhat shocking at the time due to its assumption that single women could be sexually active. Woody Allen's Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) was inspired by a 1969 sex manual of the same name by David Reuben, M.D. Warum Männer nicht zuhören und Frauen schlecht einparken is based upon the No.1 best-selling book Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps.

I haven't seen  any of those, except "Mean Girls" (I have the DVD).

Well, it seems that this idea is becoming more popular now.  Last Saturday, one the previews during "One for the Money" was for an upcoming movie that was said to be "based on the best-selling book." I wasn't surprised to see that, until I saw what the title of the movie and book on screen: "What to Expect When You're Expecting."  This is the title of a pregnancy self-help book.   I then remembered about "He's Just Not That Into You," about how a filmmaker is is turning some self-help book into an ensemble romantic comedy.  And then there this upcoming flick: "Think Like a Man," based on the self-help book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," by comic Steve Harvey.

I'm not yet decided if I'm going to see either of these, but at least in these cases, I won't feel guilty about not reading the book first.  No need to, since I'm not expecting and don't need to think like man (or do I?)  Enough on this, however.        

I can't imagine what they'll adopt next.   If "What to Expect..." does well, will the cast be reunited for "Your Baby's First Year"?   And heaven help us,  are we going to see films based on "Men Are From Mars,  Women Are For Venus"  or "I'm OK, You're OK"?   What can we expect from these?

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