Reporter’s notes: Tales of a bookworm’s anxiety at the movies

Meghan Bogardus

I will admit it: I am kind of a bookworm. I grew up on “The Princess Diaries” and “Harry Potter,” so when these books were turned into blockbuster movies, I was kind of excited.

But, to this day, I still get a sort of nervous agony every time I see one of my favorite books turned into a movie.

It’s often a never-ending spiral of thoughts, of wondering how it could possibly live up to my expectations.

And, then as quick as it started, it’s over, and I find myself stumbling out of the theater with one of three conclusions: I loved it, I hated it or I am just terribly confused.

So, I have come up with six new and old movies that I have drawn one of these conclusions from.

The Best

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Surprisingly enough, “Benjamin Button” should have its own category of a movie that made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story better than it was. There was no Daisy, no old folks’ home and no man who had been struck by lightening seven times, making “Benjamin Button” the first occasion where taking just the concept from an author was a good idea.

“Harry Potter”

The “Harry Potter” franchise remains to be the only series of books and movies that I find indistinguishable. When I was imagining J.K. Rowling’s world, it was what I was shown in the movies. With the series nearing a close, I do not expect any anxiety from the next few films.


While I am not a crazily devoted “Twilight” fan, this movie gave (and continues to give) me quite a bit of anxiety. The casting was terrific and visually, the movie was beautiful. The dark nature of the Pacific Northwest (and the novels themselves) was captured perfectly, however.

The Worst


I am not attempting to get myself stoned by fellow fans, but after one looks past the glory of Robert Pattinson, the movie pretty much dumped bits of the book on the floor and rearranged them however the directors and writers saw fit. The product was a movie that was a bit too dark. Gone was the humor and romance of Stephenie Meyer’s novel and in its place was a grim and gothic tale with some downright bad acting.

“The Princess Diaries”

I have nothing against Anne Hathaway or Disney for that matter, but this 2001 take on Meg Cabot’s sarcastic series was a little bit too sweet. It was stripped of every sort of edginess, and Mia’s hilariously cruel grandmother was replaced with the loving and kind Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews.

“Ella Enchanted”

Again, Anne Hathaway is one of my favorite actresses, but she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when she starred in the film version of this edgier, darker version of Cinderella, which happened to be my favorite book growing up. The movie was upbeat, musical and downright silly.

Contact all correspondent Meghan Bogardus at [email protected].