When Books Meet the Big Screen-A Review

This past Monday, Kasey and I were both off of work and decided to embrace our full girl potential and go see the newest Nicholas Sparks movie, The Longest Ride. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn't forced to go under duress, I have seen all of his movies except The Best of Me (I thought the book stunk, movie wouldn’t be much better) and I usually enjoy them. I did make one major mistake though. I read the entirety of The Longest Ride the day before on Sunday. Kasey was blown away by this- that I could read a book in a day, but it’s not that hard to do. I have to take advantage of my lazy Sunday’s before Jimmy and I have kids. I have always been a fast reader and I retain the majority of what I read (I even took a test to be sure!) Anyways, I say it was a mistake because the movie changed so much of the book! I was slightly confused by this because most Nicholas Sparks movie adaptions are pretty similar to the written work. He usually even helps with the screenplay. I did wonder though if it bothered me more simply because the book was so fresh in my mind-I had just devoured it the day before.

I will say, The Longest Ride was one of his better books in a while. This might not make me a literary genius, but I enjoyed it and I hate book snobs (“Oh my, I just finished War and Peace, what a beautiful account of theological and philosophical musings”—huh? just an excerpt from a review; not saying that I will never read War and Peace, but it’s not on the top of my To Read list) Every now and then, Nicholas Sparks falls off the boat and writes such drivel that was The Best of Me. I might be biased towards this book because of the ridiculous heart transplant plot that concluded the story. No, if you’re wondering, that’s not anything how transplants actually work. The Longest Ride was well written with not one or two strong lead characters, but four. The story is, of course, a love story, but it tells the tale of two sets of lovers, one in present time, one in past. Their story and actions lead up to a conclusion that even I didn’t see coming. I love that in a book! A big theme in this story is art. I am not a huge art lover, but it was interesting to read about and it wasn’t crammed down your throat. Sophia, is finishing up college as an art major. She ends up meeting and falling in love with Luke, a champion bull rider with secrets. They are completely different and probably completely wrong for each other, so naturally I was rooting for them. The other story in the book is about Ira and Ruth. Two young souls who met and fell in love before WWII not knowing that the consequences of war would follow them for the rest of their lives. They also spent their lives collecting art and filling their home with beautiful pieces. I loved the story of Ira and Ruth. A lifetime full of love, who could ask for anything more? I finished the book with a smile on my face and thanking Nicholas Sparks for delivering another goody.

Although a lot was changed in order to make the movie adaption, it was still very good. I do realize that some changes need to be made in order to bring a book to the big screen, but they changed A LOT. I enjoyed the movie, (I mean hello Scott Eastwood! Man, there’s just something about a cowboy. I always tell Jimmy I like it when he puts on his boots and jeans ;)) but at times I found myself getting annoyed by the amount of changes. So, because the movie caused me some mental discomfort (ha!), I will say that I choose the book over the movie. That being said, definitely still go see the movie if you like a feel good chick flick. Kasey hadn’t read the book and she said it was one of his best movies yet, although we both agree nothing will ever beat The Notebook.

This got me thinking about other book to movie adaptions. The Hunger Games series (the books win, but I really like the movies), The Fault in Our Stars (movie wins, I bawled like a ridiculous baby), Harry Potter series (haven’t read or seen any movie, so someone is going to have to tell me which wins this battle). There are a ton of book to movies out there! I’ve seen a lot and I think that most of the time the book wins. Honestly, how could they not? There is such detail in a book that is often not portrayed on film. That being said, I love seeing a book come to life (so long as it is done well). So, in conclusion, are there any books out there that you guys have read where you ended up liking the movie better? Are there any books that you’ve read that you hated the movie? Are there any books that you didn’t like, but you enjoyed the movie? Leave me some comments and let me know! Also, let me know what you think of The Longest Ride (book or movie).

Until next time,

Kelly