Picks and Pans Review: From Pages to the Big Screen: See the Movie or Read the Book?
Our advice: Read and see.
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN Readers who adored Frances Mayes's memoir of renovating a villa in Italy will be taken aback to find that the film's Frances (Diane Lane) buys the house on impulse, dallies with a studly Italian and has a lesbian housemate.
Verdict: Call us shallow, but we like the film better.
THE HUMAN STAIN Though accomplished, the film version (due Oct. 31) of Philip Roth's richly textured novel about an affair between an older man and a younger woman never matches the book's complex characterizations and depth of its back story.
Best bet: See the movie, then read the book.
IN THE CUT Meg Ryan strips to the buff to play the sexual-thrill-seeking heroine of the movie version (opening Oct. 22) of Susanna Moore's erotic thriller. The book's plot holes seem more glaring in the film, and the original tragic ending has been exchanged for a happier one.
Our take: Neither is any great shakes.