I’m recommending SeaBiscuit, Hidalgo, and About a Boy, in that order. None of these are without their flaws, but each has enough merit on a strictly entertainment level to make them worthwhile. SeaBiscuit and Hidalgo also have the virtue of being more or less historically true. A few words about each:
SeaBiscuit: Good filmmaking except for the beat you over the head with the theme voice over at the end. Pseudo-documentary idea worked well. Chris Cooper is great. Gary Stevens, named one of People’s 50 most beautiful, is, frankly, beautiful. And he’s a real jockey to boot.
Hidalgo: Viggo Mortensen is terrific. Likewise the cinematography. Goes too “Hollywood” at times for my tastes, but not a bad ride when all is said and done.
About a Boy: Hugh Grant’s voice over narration is beginning to wear thin. It’s a useful technique for getting exposition out there in a hurry, but he seems to do it every movie. Film handles depression well, which was refreshing to see. Good and mostly plausible storyline, too.
Final note: The above mostly positive mini-reviews aside, I’d bet money than for each of these movies the book is better.