Book Vs. Movie: Dumplin’ and Bird Box

Posted January 24, 2019 by shooting in Book Review, TV/Movies / 42 Comments

This past weekend, I finally watched two Netflix films based on books, Dumplin’ and Bird Box. I read Bird Box back when it came out and loved the book, so I was excited to check out the film. As for Dumplin’, I just recently read the book for my book club and I didn’t love it, but I did highly enjoy the secondary characters. I’d heard the movie was good though, so I was curious to see! If you liked this post, please share on social media (especially pinning the images!)


Dumplin: Book Vs. Movie

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy has been on my radar since it was released, but it wasn’t until my book club was reading it that I finally decided to give it a shot. I really liked the secondary characters in the book, but honestly, Willowdean (AKA Dumplin’) wasn’t my favorite. I did feel for her when it came to being uncomfortable in her skin, because that’s something I’ve dealt with most of my life. I was never the skinny one – I’m still not – so I could understand that and I thought it was dealt with really well. However, I didn’t really like how Willow treated people – some of it made sense in the moment, but she let things drag and essentially didn’t communicate when she should have.

I’d heard that the movie was really good though, so I was excited to check it out on Netflix. I would definitely recommend watching the movie, even if you haven’t or don’t want to read the book. I thought it fleshed out Willow’s character a bit more and she didn’t seem as harsh to the people in her life. Plus, once again, I really did love the secondary characters. One of my favorites – in the book and movie – is Hannah. She adds a lot of humor!

Danielle MacDonald plays Willowdean and I think she does a great job. The book has drag queens that help Willow and her friends with the pageant, but they have a bigger role in the movie and I really loved that. Plus, there is plenty of Dolly Parton love and music and as I’m a fan, it definitely added to my enjoyment.

Verdict – Movie Over the Book

Book Vs. Movie Reviews: Dumplin' and Bird Box #ontheblog #dumplin #birdbox Click To Tweet

Bird Box

Bird Box: Book Vs. Movie

I read and reviewed Bird Box back in 2014 so you’re welcome to read my full review there. I really loved the book though and what’s funny is that I ended the review with this:

Overall, this was a great, original story. I could see it being a film…though one that is a bit quiet and haunting, music used to up the suspense and danger.

I was right! It definitely made a good film, and I think I was pretty accurate with the type of movie it would be too. When it comes to Bird Box, I love the book a lot more than the movie, but I’m still happy with the movie. I think it was done well and nicely covered the overall story. It’s been years now since I’ve read the book – I really need to do a re-read – so I can’t compare the smaller things, but I’m one of those people that don’t mind changes in a book versus movie as long as it doesn’t drastically change the entire story or something.

Sandra Bullock is a favorite actress of mine and I think she was wonderful in the movie. Danielle MacDonald (Willowdean in Dumplin’) was actually in Bird Box as well, and she does another fantastic job – in a drastically different role. The children who play Girl and Boy did a great job. They don’t have many lines, but for being so young, and for the type of movie Bird Box is, I think they were wonderful.

Verdict: Book Over the Movie

Have you seen either of these movies (or read the books)? What are your thoughts?

42 responses to “Book Vs. Movie: Dumplin’ and Bird Box

  1. Wow, you predicted Bird Box being a movie back in 2014! I’ve recently discovered just how many books to movies that are going to happen this year and wow it’s a lot. I only watched Dumplin’ and honestly it didn’t hold my attention. I skipped around a bit. I did like the drag queens parts and the end but meh for everything else.

    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind recently posted: Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen
  2. I watched the movie Dumplin but didn’t read it. I think I’d rather read than watch Bird Box because I don’t like scary movies!

  3. I still have to watch the Dumplin’ movie and I keep forgetting about it. I did like the book but I also read the book SUGAR by Deidre Riordan Hall the same time and that’s about a girl who doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin but it has a WAY different story line and ending. THAT book was so great and I still tear up when I think about it.

    Sara recently posted: Exercises in memory
  4. I am almost always disappointed when I watch a movie based on a book because I expect so much if I loved what I’d read. So when I hear a movie was more enjoyable I’m intrigued – thank you for sharing this 🙂

  5. I only watched the Dumplin’ movie, but I really enjoyed it! I’ve been wondering about the book, I’ve heard great things about it from some friends, but it’s good to know about how Willow treats people in the book a bit harsher, I’m warned haha 🙂 thank you so much for sharing this 😀

  6. I wasn’t a huge fan of Willowdean either. I love the secondary characters, though. I thought the book definitely went deeper as far as her angst and self-consciousness went. I liked book-Bo much much better. But I thought the movie was cute on its own. I liked that the drag queens and the pageant got bigger roles in the movie!
    I haven’t read or watched Bird Box.

  7. I haven’t read the book, but I did watch Bird Box earlier this month. I enjoyed it, I thought it was well done and now I kind of want to go back and read the book just to see the differences. I haven’t read Dumplin either, but I have read some other Julie Murphy books and had planned to read Dumplin. I probably still will, but again, may end up seeing the movie first because I’ve heard pretty good things about it!

  8. I haven’t watched either movie but Dumplin’ caught my eye on Netflix so I will watch that even though I’m unlikely to read the book.

    Birdbox? I’ve had zero interest in that: book nor movie. However, I’m glad that as a fan of the book you still enjoyed the movie. ?

  9. I just watched Dumplin tonight, and I thought it was cute. My husband watched Birdbox a while ago, but I haven’t seen it. It is funny because he recognized Danielle MacDonald, but he didn’t remember what movie she was in.

  10. That’s great that you enjoyed the movie Dumplin’ even if the book wasn’t your favorite. I can see how the character being more fleshed out would help. I haven’t seen or read Bird Box yet, but I have the book, so hopefully I’ll get to it eventually! Glad to hear both were good!

  11. Love this, I always like to see people’s thoughts when it comes to films adapted from books, especially if they’ve seen and read both so you can get a good comparison. I actually kind of think the book of Dumplin was better than the film, but personal opinion and all that, I just felt like the story around the romance and WIllowdean’s own story was more fleshed out. I get everything can’t be put in a film, but I missed elements of the story, especially as Bo didn’t feel as developed in the film but then it was WIllowdean’s story.

    How weird you were spot on with how perfect Birdbox would be as a film and also how it would best be translated on screen. It would be interesting to read the book as I’ve heard they changed the ending in it a bit.

  12. Interesting. Thanks for the reviews of both, Lauren! They are both on my must-watch list, but I didn’t realize that they are books originally. Bryan’s been asking to watch Dumpling bc we keep seeing it on Netflix but I’ll have to watch Birdbox with someone else since he’s seen it already. Apparently I’m behind the times and one of three people who hasn’t yet watched the movie. Hope you have a great weekend, Lauren! Xoxo

  13. I am glad to have found your site. There has never been a movie that I have enjoyed more than a book. Right now my 13 year old daughter and I are reading “To All The Boys I Loved Before” since we watched the movie on Netflix. We just watched “Dumplin” today and really enjoyed it. I did not realize there was a book.

  14. I read Bird Box pretty soon before I watched the movie, and I feel like the changes were, for the most part, better? And certainly better for the sake of the screen! (I give the movie the slight edge in this case I think actually- it was so much more emotional for me!) I really want to watch Dumplin’ too, especially if you liked it more than the book! I had some similar feelings about the book, so this makes me extra excited for the movie! Great reviews!

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Reviews in a Minute: The February 5ths (Round One)
  15. RO

    You really have your finger on pop culture if you can foresee a movie coming from a book, and that’s so cool. I didn’t read either book, but the success from the Bird Box will hopefully drive many more to check it out. I can’t believe that people have been doing all kinds of wild stuff with blindfolds! I was also shocked to see Netflix post an actual tv ad for Bird Box too. I enjoyed the movie, and like you, I’m a fan of Sandra Bullock. She really did a great job in the role, and the other characters were good too. Dumpling is one of those movies that you hope lifts someone up and makes them realize that we should be brave and just do it. I hope teens in high school watch this motivational movie. Great post, as always! Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! RO

  16. I keep saying I’ll watch Dumplin’ since it came out but I haven’t yet! Then again, I somehow forgot to watch a movie before it expired so don’t mind me it’s not big deal. I’m glad to hear about Willowdean having a more fleshed out character in the movie, though I’m not too keen on the way she treats the other characters (from what I hear in reviews).

    Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts recently posted: All Is Fair by Dee Garretson | Predictable, but a little fun
  17. I havent read Dumplin or seen the movie, but its so rare that a movie beats out a book! And I really need to watch Bird Box since everyone is loving that movie, didnt realize it was a book first though!

  18. Jen

    I have watched both… mostly. I fell asleep during Dumplin. Kind of my life story, but I am going to finish it. Loved Bird Box! Super creepy!

  19. I sort of felt the same way about the book Dumplin’ too, I did enjoy it overall too, but it didn’t leave the biggest impression with me as i thought it would. I think that’s why i’ve sort of stayed away from the movie, but now seeing that you’ve enjoyed it i may have to give it a go! I haven’t read Bird Box, but it seems to be all that everyone seems to be talking about these days, my sister loved the film and has been on at me for forever to give it a go, I think I’m just a little scared, may have to watch it during the day! lol hope you have a great week 🙂

  20. I have read or watched Dumplin yet but I have with Bird Box. I didn’t like the book. I gave it 1.5 stars because I am mean. I was really curious about how they would make it into a movie and liked it better than the book but still had some issues with it. I know that I am in the minority with this one.

  21. I didn’t read Dumplin and to be honest I really had no interest in picking it up, but I may watch the movie. Same with The Bird Box, I was slightly more interested in picking up the book, but I probably never will, but I did enjoy the movie more than I thought I would. With the exception of one thing in the ending, I liked it.

  22. I haven’t read DUMPLIN’ or seen the movie, although I’ve been meaning to since the book came out. I did read and enjoy BIRD BOX, although I haven’t watched the movie yet. I’ve heard mixed reviews. I think I’m going to re-read the book before I venture into the movie — it’s been so long I can’t really remember the who’s who and what’s what of the story, you know?

  23. I have watched both of these movies but haven’t read either of the books! I am terrible with reading books of movie adaptations unless it’s a book I read long before the movie came out, like Simon VS! And to be honest, I’m not one of those people that needs to read the book, either. I enjoyed both these movies and I don’t really have a desire to read either of their bookish counterparts, haha.

    I really, really enjoyed Dumplin! I thought there were so many good things about the story and the characters. I absolutely loved the inclusion of the drag queens, they were fantastic characters.

    Bird Box was not as amazing as the hype had lead me to believe but I still thoroughly enjoyed it! I really liked the ending.

    Love this post, Lauren!

    Chiara recently posted: Six 2019 YA Releases I’m Keen For

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.