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Top 3 films based on books to see this August

Though some may gripe that movies rarely live up to the books they are based on, it is always exciting to see your favorite stories brought to the big screen. In the next few months, a number of books-turned-movies will be opening. Here are three coming soon that you’ll want to check out — regardless of whether or not you’ve read the novels or not.

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Release date: Aug. 8
Trailer

Based on Richard Morais’ novel about a young culinary prodigy from India who comes under the instruction of an imposing French chef, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” looks like it will be funny, touching and delicious. It centers on the conflict between Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), owner of a fancy French restaurant, and the Kadam family (Om Puri as Papa and Manish Dayal as his son Hasan), who move into the neighborhood and, to Madame Mallory’s great displeasure, open their Indian restaurant across the street. Matters are complicated when, in the midst of this clash, Madame recognizes Hasan’s talent and takes him on as an apprentice. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” promises lots of mouthwatering food; it also promises a welcome change of pace from action movies. As one Youtuber wisely commented on the trailer, “No CGI, no robots, no superheroes, no guns, no explosions, no car chases and a story about perseverance, personal growth and triumph… I’m in.”

“The Giver”
Release date: Aug. 15
Trailer

BRENTON THWAITES and ODEYA RUSH star in THE GIVER © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

BRENTON THWAITES and ODEYA RUSH star in THE GIVER
© 2014 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

This is a must-see for anyone who enjoys sci-fi, dystopias or cool “what if” questions, such as: What if a society found a way to eliminate hunger, war and pain? What if, in pursuit of well-regulated perfection, the society also had to give up joys like color, love and free choice? In this strange world, a boy named Jonas is chosen as successor to the “Giver,” an old man who keeps the only memories of what life used to be. Stories about teens growing up in dystopian worlds seem common by now (think “Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and almost every other popular young adult series), but even in such a crowded field, Lois Lowry’s classic “The Giver” really stands out as original and utterly thought-provoking — and kind of scary. Fans of the book will surely be curious to see how the movie handles the story. The film boasts some well-known names: Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges star alongside younger actors Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush. Taylor Swift will also make an appearance.

“If I Stay”
Release date: Aug. 22
Trailer

“If I Stay” is based on a well-received young adult novel by Gayle Forman that deals with the weighty issues of love and death. Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz), a 17-year-old girl in a coma after a devastating car crash, must choose whether to live or die — a harder decision than one might first imagine, because she will wake up an orphan. The film should appeal to those who enjoyed “The Fault in Our Stars,” another movie based on a bestseller. Like “The Fault in Our Stars,” “If I Stay”should be an emotional rollercoaster. It will also feature a fair amount of romance between Mia and her beloved boyfriend Adam, who struggles to deal with the aftermath of the crash. If the movie is anywhere near as poignant and emotionally complex as the book, then it will be worth watching.

A final note for book lovers: the Nov. 21 release is still months away, but it’s not too early to begin getting excited for the third “Hunger Games” installment, “Mockingjay, Part 1.” The teaser trailer is already out.