Hollywood Movies Based On Novels That Are A Treat To Our Eyes

By Layana Reghunath

The hero of every movie is its storyline. Hence many movies have been made on bestselling books. But only a few could be listed in the best movies category. It is because fitting the entire novel into a few hours of entertainment is often challenging, and some fail miserably. We can see those movie adptations of books are often a companion than a true retellers. Filmmakers bring additional changes to their movies to please their audiences. For instance, the storyline of the 2019 movie adaptation of Little Women was hanged according to the needs of the modern audience. Some also add a glamour quotient to make it more appealing. That and all are part of the game, which sometimes succeed and at other times backfires too. Here we have compiled some of the best Hollywood movies based on novels are worth watching at least once in your lifetime. We have also included its novel counterpart, which you can add to your reading list. So get ready to dive into the best Hollywood movies based on novels

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)

  • Novel: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • Author: D.H.Lawrence
  • Streaming platform: Netflix

The author D.H. Lawrence brought out the unexplored areas of love and sex through his novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It is about the love affair between a gamekeeper and an upper-class woman, which describes sex in its most raw form. The author was so true to the emotions that several countries banned this book, citing obscenity. Emma Corrin and Jack O’Connell played the lead roles when the book was remade into a film. Their onscreen chemistry further added fuel to the steaminess. 

Pride And Prejudice (2005)

  • Novel: Pride and Prejudice
  • Author: Jane Austin
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

The storyline of Jane Austin’s novel Pride and Prejudice has inspired many movies. But this film adaptation didn’t change the novel and has remained true to its original plot. Hence, the rival-turned-lovers Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy are reborn onscreen. 

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

  • Novel: If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Author: James Baldwin
  • Streaming platform: Hulu

The 1974 novel by James Baldwin grabbed many eyeballs with its incredible plot. It is about a young woman’s struggle to clear the name of her boyfriend, who was wrongly accused of a crime in New York. The story was so catching that its film adaptation should maintain the standard. Only a visionary director like Berry Jenkins could do proper justice to this story. The film received several awards at the Oscars, including the best supporting actress for Regina King. 

The Wizard of Oz

  • Novel: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Author: L. Frank Baum
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

The Wizard of Oz has been a favourite Hollywood movie for people of all ages. Judy Garland has remained true to her role in this 1939 classic movie which brought life to L. Frank Baum’s children’s fictional novel. The film is a feast for our eyes with the memorable performances of the cast, technicolour and some brilliant quotes like ‘over the rainbow.’

Little Women (2019)

  • Novel: Little Women
  • Author: Louisa May Alcott
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

If an 1868 novel still inspires many movies, imagine its content quality. The novel Little Women, which revolves around three sisters, Meg, Jo and Beth, has stood the test of time and remains as fresh as it was first published. Its 2019 film version stars Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Saoirse Ronan and is preferably the best adaptation of the novel of all time. 

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

  • Novel: Crazy Rich Asians
  • Author: Kevin Kwan
  • Streaming platform: HBO Max

What should we say about this film? It is a perfect blend of romance, comedy and drama. Constance Wu and Henry Golding play the lead roles in the movie, which tells the story of a Chinese American woman who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. Even though the plot seems too simple, their life is not so. The boy’s family is super rich and is well known. To make things more complicated, his mother is not very much convinced by his newly found love. What will be the future of the couple?

Gone Girl (2014)

  • Novel: Gone Girl
  • Author: Gillian Flynn
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

I bet it won’t end with 3 to 4 pages if we start writing an essay about Gone Girl. The plot is so complicated that it will race your heartbeats every moment. The movie talks about the sudden disappearance of a wife and husband becoming the prime suspect behind it. When the investigation, other serious issues like manipulation, parenting, misogyny, and marriage pop out of the hole, leaving the investigators and the viewers more confused. The director has succeeded in adapting the novel to a thriller movie by casting the right people and giving life to the characters. 

A Simple Favor (2018)

  • Novel: A Simple Favor
  • Author: Darcey Bell
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

The film and the novel seem just the opposite of its title. It is not as simple as it suggests. This crime thriller is engaging because of the terrific chemistry between the actors Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. You will be biting your nailing and clutching your throughout the movie as you want to know what is happening.

Sense And Sensibility (1995)

  • Novel: Sense and Sensibility
  • Author: Jane Austen
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

Jane Austin has been so good at work that filmmakers often need clarification about choosing one from her novels list. The film adaptation of her novel Sense and Sensibility showcases a matured and reserved older sister, Elinor and her outgoing, romantic younger sister, Marianne. Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet gave life to the lead roles, and it is indeed a classic worth watching.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

  • Novel: The Devil Wears Prada
  • Author: Lauren Weisberger
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

In this fictional fashion drama, Meryl Streep adorns the role of the coldest, creepiest and most intimidating boss who runs the fashion magazine, Runway. Anne Hathway’s character, on the other hand, is a clueless girl who mistakenly recognises herself as a serious journalist. Since their characters are poles apart, clashes happen initially, but they somehow find a way to work together. The movie is engaging throughout and will undoubtedly bring tears to your eyes with its touching climax.

The Color Purple (1985)

  • Novel: The Color Purple
  • Author: Alice Walker
  • Streaming platform: Netflix

The character Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg, will stay with you for quite some time, even after the movie ends. Alice Walker, in her novel with the same title, talks about the problems faced by Black Women at the beginning of the 20th century, which include racism, sexism and domestic violence. It is full of her experience in her 40 years of life. 

The First Wives Club (1996)

  • Novel: The First Wives Club
  • Author: Olivia Goldsmith
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

You can’t stop watching this movie because every part fills your heart. It is a complete drama filled with comedy, acting and the friendship between three friends. It is about three women, played by Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton, who decides to seek revenge from their ex-husbands on the eve of the sudden death of their close friend. 

To All The Boys I Have Loved Before (2018)

  • Novel: To All The Boys I Have Loved Before
  • Author: Jenny Han
  • Streaming platform: Netflix

The love story between Peter Kavinsky and Laura Jean will remain in your heart forever. Jenny Han’s novels are always related to teenagers; you will find similarities in one or two. However, its film adaptation seems to be a fresh start, which is unique and heartwarming at the same time. 

The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)

  • Novel: The Harry Potter Series
  • Author: J.K Rowling
  • Streaming platform: Peacock

Even the author J.K Rowling, might not have assumed the massive reach of the boy who lived, Harry Potter. Even though the first two books were written for kiddies, surprisingly, adults also became addicted to the wizarding world. The film is so realistic that people can easily connect to the characters they read in the novel. It is filled with emotions like friendship, excitement and comedy, too, in the correct quantity. 

Hidden Figures (2016)

  • Novel: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the untold story of the black Women Mathematicians who helped win the space race
  • Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Streaming platform: Disney+

If you are tired of watching thrillers and tragedy and are looking for a feel-good movie to lighten your heart, then Hidden Figures is the right choice. Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson and Janelle Monae play the roles of three Black Women working for NASA in the initial Space program. They played a significant role in launching the astronaut John Glenn into orbit. This story is inspired by actual incidents and slightly differs from what you learned in school. 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

  • Novel: The Silence of the Lambs
  • Author: Thomas Harris
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, asks Jodi Foster’s character, “Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?”. This quote is so famous among movie lovers. But, if you need help understanding its meaning, there is only one way. You have to watch the film streaming on Amazon Prime. Trust me; you won’t regret your decision. 

The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

  • Novel: The Talented Mr Ripley
  • Author: Patricia Highsmith
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

This story is about Tom Ripley, who is ready to cheat, lie and even murder to climb the stairs for a wealthy life. The plus point of this movie is that you can see Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow in their younger days and witness the spectacular performance of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

It (2017)

  • Novel: It
  • Author: Stephen King
  • Streaming platform: HBO Max

This horror classic has given nightmares to even the mightiest from generations. A group of friends gets stuck in a newly found England town and comes in contact with a mysterious shape-changing killer who can take the shape of the thing you fear the most. 

The Princess Diaries (2001)

  • Novel: The Princess Diaries
  • Author: Meg Cabot
  • Streaming platform: Disney+

The life of the nerdy outcast high schooler, Mia Thermopolis, changes overnight when she discovers she is a descendant of royalty. The story is full of emotions like love, friendship and growing up. The book takes you to the pages of Mia’s diary, and you will see the world through her eyes. It won’t be a surprise if you want to wear Doc Martens after watching or reading it.

The Joy Luck Club (1993)

  • Novel: The Joy Luck Club
  • Author: Amy Tan
  • Streaming platform: Amazon Prime Video

You can explore the lives of Chinese American immigrants deeply in this novel. It takes you to the lives of a group of women who lives in the Chinatown of San Francisco and stands as a pillar of support for each other during all good and bad times. 

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