Times change and I have to say that so far I’d say it was 50-50. Some films are far better than the books. Maybe that's because making a film means distilling down the essence of a story and removing all the flim-flam. (Technical term!)
I recently read up on writing screenplays and tried to convert one of my manuscripts to see how it worked. It certainly focusses the mind on what is and isn’t necessary to the story. I’m not a fan of hugely descriptive prose or oodles of backstory - call me impatient – so it appealed to me, and maybe that is why I enjoy films so much. But there are times when things that I feel are important have been left out, maybe they needed to be for time constraints, or the screenwriter didn’t see them as important as I did, but I felt it made the film less fulfilling with their loss.
For me – and this is only my opinion: The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks is just as good as the film, but Nights In Rodanthe, by the same author, I felt was better as a book. As for films that outshine the book, I loved the recent film adaptation of Suite Francaise, but could really not get into the book. What are your thoughts?