I know this was intended for CF4L but I'm going to jump in as I just watched The Hobbit a couple of weeks ago. These are some of my all-time favorite books that I read years ago and have kept to re-read over and over again, so like your wife I couldn't wait to see the movies in what was more of an "adult" version than the animated cartoon which came out a few years ago.
The movies are so close to the books, I think that's what makes them so good. I did enjoy the Hobbit movie more than the book though and that's a very rare occurance for me. It's not up the the LOTR story line but I didn't think the book was so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
These people have done an amazing job with JRR Tolkiens work and given me a middle earth that is a wonderful place to visit . . . again and again.
Please jump away, or back, well you know what I mean.
I'm glad to hear that, and it's makes sense considering what my wife has said of the books. I thought that the LOTR movies were largely astounding, and they made me want to try to read the series again (although as I said I have many other things stacking up ahead of them, and I just don't read all that much nowadays). You have to give much of the credit to Peter Jackson I would think. Just the time and the investment required, to put out such incredibly detailed, nuanced, often slow moving lengthy movies - with effects that always serve to enhance not cheapen - took an incredible amount of nerve. Thank goodness for him.