Nick Hornby’s Best Film Adaptations, Ranked

Nick Hornby is a British writer whose novels have been adapted to the cinema many times. Interestingly, although he hasn’t adapted almost any of them himself, in recent years he’s also become a successful screenwriter for movies like Brooklyn, wildWhere An education. Hornby’s writing has always been about obsessed man-children, who are somewhat selfish and believe their passion is all they have to offer. But with age, his characters have gained more introspection and weariness, while always keeping his humor intact. Here are Nick Hornby’s best film adaptations, ranked:


6/6 No Fever (2005)

Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch
20th century fox

Hornby’s first book is a memoir about his fanaticism for the Arsenal football (soccer) team and its connection to his life over the years. The American version of Overexcitement It’s not that. This romantic comedy starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore changes football for baseball and Arsenal for the Boston Red Sox, and it would be nice if the movie kept all of the novel’s humanity, but it changes almost everything except the title. As with all romantic comedies of the 2000s, the comedy is too broad and over the top to make us fall in love with the characters and want their story to be one for the ages.

Related: Jimmy Fallon Talks Fever Pitch

5/6 A Long Way Down (2014)

A long descent
Lions Gate

Four strangers who had planned to jump off the same roof on New Year’s Eve, join forces and decide to give themselves six weeks to find a reason to live, while being each other’s support systems. Such a surreal starting point gave the novel a hilarious, yet melancholy base. The film adaptation of A long descent is unable to recreate this contrast and tries to be funnier. Although well cast (Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, and Pierce Brosnan, who did this kind of character better), in the film version, we don’t believe for a second that these people were desperate enough to end their lives. . It’s a fun movie for a Sunday night, but it lacks the pathos, to-the-point dialogue, and “life is hard but it’s worth it” message of the book.

4/6 No Fever (1997)

Fever Pitch - Colin Firth
FilmFour Distributors

Before Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore tackled Overexcitement, there had already been an English version of the film, starring Colin Firth. Is he credible as a football fanatic who would do anything to see every Arsenal game? Not really; but even with the cast error, the film retains the boys’ enthusiasm and passion for (English) football, with the heart and charm of the book, as the screenplay is written by Nick Hornby himself, and that sees.

3/6 Juliet, naked (2018)

Juliet, nude
Lions Gate

Annie (Rose Byrne) is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan (Chris O’Dowd), obsessed with Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), an incredible musician who fell from the face of the Earth 25 years ago. When she goes to Crowe’s site and gives her opinion on the new album (it sucks), someone sends her an e-mail; it’s Crowe himself, and they start e-mailing each other. Hornby is a music fanatic, so he knows how to get us into that headspace, and also ridicule the obsession when it goes too far. Juliet, nude is a book and film about musical fanaticism, aging and how love can fade over time, while Annie and Duncan are in a rut. The film’s protagonist is Byrne, whose best acting trick is making us believe she’d always be with the pretentious, doofus man-child that is Duncan. It might not be one of her best roles, but she’s lovely, especially in her relationship with Ethan Hawke, as faded, old, sad, has-been.

Rose Byrne told HeyGuys about the project, “I read the book when it came out and loved it, so when I found out it was being done I was immediately intrigued, so it was obvious. I was a fan, literally a fan. I met Nick Hornby the other day on set, and I was extremely nervous because I think he’s such a brilliant writer.

2/6 About a Boy (2002)

Universal images

Will (Hugh Grant) is a womanizer, rich, villain, who meets Fiona (Toni Collette) and her son Marcus (Nicholas Hoult). When she attempts suicide, Will and Marcus bond and become the strangest of friends. About a boy could be one of those times when actors make a good script even better, because that’s the role Hugh Grant was born to play. It’s also a great debut performance for Nicholas Hoult as a weird, shy, wise kid beyond his Marcus years. The movie was written almost ten years after the book, so they had to change some things (Kurt Cobain and grunge weren’t as big in the 2000s), but the message that no one is an island, and that being with people is the way to really live, is perfectly explained both in the book and in the film.

Related: Here Are 6 Anti-Romance Movies That Will Make You Love Forever

1/6 High Fidelity (2000)

Buena Vista Pictures

Rob Gordon (John Cusack) is the owner of a struggling record store. When his last girlfriend, Laura (Iben Hjejle), leaves him, he makes a list of five ex-girlfriends and decides to talk to them all, so he can find out what he’s doing wrong. High fidelity is the perfect example of how great film adaptations can be. Both the movie and the book are great because they each take advantage of their respective mediums. John Cusack expertly imbues the character, showing affectionate qualities, while being a self-absorbed and selfish musical snob, who needs to grow up. The film used the breaking of the fourth wall to speak to us and used some of the best monologues from the book, creating a style that affected the rom-com genre and has one of the best soundtracks of all time. In 2020 there was a TV show, starring Zoë Kravitz that showed that men or women, being in their 90s, 2000s or 2020s, still want to be loved, understood and talked about of music.

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