Not only an escape, but diaries are among the greatest sources of stories.
It is where one gathers his deepest thoughts and feelings, translating them into words and phrases that describe his experiences. It is where reality and fantasy often divulged, and where secrets are whispered.
Writers, musicians, and artists have taken inspiration from this universal experience, giving birth to endless novels, films, and songs based on diaries.
In celebration of ‘Dear Diary Day’, we listed some of the best movies and novels straight from one character’s journal to another:
1. Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
History junkie or not, Anne Frank’s name surely resonates.
The young Jewish girl lived through the Holocaust and started writing in her diary when she was 13.
Addressed to her friend ‘Kitty’, Anne’s journal became her haven during the World War II and where she documented the story about her and her family’s life while in hiding.
It landed on the hands of Miep Gies after her death, who gave it to her father Otto — the only survivor in their family.
Entitled ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ or ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, her book of writings was published in 1947 and is now considered as one of the most popular books of all time. It is translated into 60 languages and has sold over 30-million copies worldwide.
It was also adapted into a movie in 1959 where Millie Perkins acted as the young Anne.
2. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
Based on the 1997 novel of the same name by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of the Geisha is about Chiyo Sakamoto, a young Japanese girl who was sold by her impoverished family to a geisha house in order to support them.
The film centers around the sacrifices and hardship faced by pre-World War II geisha, and the challenges posed by the war and a modernizing world to geisha society.
The movie stars Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, Suzuka Ohgo, and Samantha Futerman.
3. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
This is one relatable story about growing up, the book series from author Jeff Kinney tells the tale of middle-school student Greg Heffley.
Wanting to become popular at school, he wrote down his misadventures in his journals and shared the lessons he learned along the way.
First published in 2007, the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ book series remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since its publication.
It is currently available in 76 editions in 64 languages and was adapted into four films: Diary of A Wimpy Kid (2010), Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rule (2011), Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012), and Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017).
4. Diary ng Panget (2014)
The movie that launched JaDine or the loveteam of James Reid and Nadine Lustre into fame.
‘Diary ng Panget’ tells the story of the main character ‘Eya’ and how she met Cross Sandford– straight from her diary.
It was based on the romantic-comedy novel of the same title by ‘HaveYouSeenThisGirl’ or Denny R. in real life.
5. The Notebook (2004)
Based on the Nicholas Sparks-classic ‘The Notebook’, the 2004 film adaptation stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fell in love in the 1940s.
Their story is read from a notebook in the present day by an elderly man (played by James Garner), telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident (played by Gena Rowlands).
6. Mara Clara (1992-1995)
Talking about plot twists, the biggest revelation in the hit Filipino television series Mara Clara revolved around a diary.
Mara and Clara were switched at birth, and the details of this event were recorded by Kardo, a hospital staff, in his diary.
Mara (Judy Ann Santos) lived as the poor daughter of the couple Susan (Susan Africa) and Gary Davis (Eruel Tongco/William Martinez) while Clara (Gladys Reyes), their real daughter, was brought up by the rich couple Amanthe (Juan Rodrigo) and Almira Del Valle (Beverly Vergel).
This was reprised in 2010 by then teen stars Kathryn Bernardo ang Julia Montes.
Mara Clara is considered as one of the most popular television series in the country, with over 300 episodes airing for three years.
7. Vampire Diaries (2009)
The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural teen drama television series based on the popular novels of the same name by L. J. Smith.
It centers around the lives, loves, dangers and disasters in the fictional town of Mystic Falls in Virginia as told through the journal entries of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev).
8. The Carrie Diaries (2013)
The prequel to the popular movie series “Sex and the City”, The Carrie Diaries foretold the adventures of 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw after landing an internship in New York.
She recorded her internal musings in her diary and documented her growth both as a writer and as a person.
9. Princess Diaries (2001)
The coming-of-age film from Garry Marshall revolves around the life of Mia Thermopolis, who has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia.
With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her sixteenth year.
10. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
Bridget Jones (played by Renée Zellweger) wants to fall in love and her diary surely knows it.
The romantic-comedy film released in 2001 is about her entries and how she improved herself while she looking for love.