As I mentioned in a recent blog post, and will very likely discuss in a version of this post aimed at mainstream grown-up movies, I have a thing for adaptations of classic literature. What I didn’t mention is that this passion extends beyond the purely literary. I have a particular fondness for the teen movies that introduce classic stories to a new generation. As I did with the earlier post, I can’t claim my list is exhaustive, but I’m quite the enthusiast. If you know of some good ones, help me round out my list:
- “Clueless” (1995), an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.
- “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999), an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” So many things to love. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Allison Janney, Heath Ledger. Hilariously done.
- “O” (2001), an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Othello.” It’s tragic so it takes itself pretty seriously. But I’ve got a soft spot for Julia Stiles.
- “Easy A” (2009), an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In fairness, this is less a direct adaptation than an “inspired by.” But they just don’t come more inspiring. Emma Stone is incredible.
- “Warm Bodies” (2013), an adaptation of [spoiler concealed]. I didn’t even know I was watching an adaptation until the last 15 minutes or so of the movie, but it’s absolutely brilliant. I know the original story extremely well and never saw the correlation. I’m not Sherlock, but I’m pretty good at seeing correlations, and this one totally surprised me. If you haven’t seen it, stop and watch, immediately.
- “Sydney White” (2008), an adaptation of Snow White.
- “She’s All That” (1999), an adaptation of Pygmalion. This story is one that’s remade often, and “She’s All That” doesn’t try to hide its history. But I think it offers some interesting shading, plus a killer ensemble dance number at the prom.
- “Disturbia” (2007), an adaptation of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.” Extremely well-done! Chilling, but appropriate for teens, and I’d say it’s aging decently.