What started out as a book by the talented writer, Nicholas Sparks, in September of 2013, has now become a movie, out in theaters as of last night. I consider myself a romance novel connoisseur, and I can say without hesitation that Nicholas Sparks is a romance novel genius. He has written 18 best-selling romantic dramas, eleven of which have been adapted to film. Among them are Safe Haven, The Best of Me, Dear John, A Walk To Remember, The Notebook, and the latest – The Longest Ride.
If you are a fan of romantic dramas – books or movies, or Nicholas Sparks, then this is one you will definitely want to check out. If a book has a movie counterpart, I usually try to watch the movie first. Often the movie falls short of my expectations after having already read the book, or they change the story-line and I feel disappointed because I loved the book’s version and wanted everything to stay the same. However, there have also been some great film adaptations including A Walk To Remember and The Notebook, both based off Nicholas Sparks novels. I was on an emotional roller coaster throughout both of those movies. The Longest Ride novel came out in September 2013 and since I wasn’t about to wait that long to read a Nicholas Sparks book, this was one time I was going to have to see the movie after having already read the book, and based on my previous experiences with Nicholas Sparks movies vs books, I figured it had a 50/50 shot. Luckily, it was not a disappointment.
Fair warning, they did change the story-line quite a bit, so if you were married to the book’s version, it may be a surprising change. While I don’t think I could ever say I didn’t love everything about a Nicholas Sparks novel, I did enjoy the changes in the movie. Because I don’t want to have to say Spoiler Alert, all I’ll mention in that regard is that the movie left out some of the side drama, which at first I thought would be necessary for the whole “boy saves girl” swooning that all of us ladies love(or maybe that’s just me). But what it did instead was focus on building stronger relationships between the main characters, which made for plenty of laugh and cry moments. There was a good 15 minute sob fest, where I could hear the sniffles going around the theater and see the not-so-discreet eye wipes, of which I may have been included.
It is a PG-13 movie, so besides a little side boob and one (excellent) butt shot that led to some cheering in the theater, it focused on telling the true love story of two couples. The story of one couple’s journey lasting through war and hardships, helps another couple find their way and build their own lasting love story. I can honestly say the ending of The Longest Ride is a fairytale stretch, but if I walk out of the theater or close the book feeling happy and complete and that great things are possible, then it’s a job well done. And that is exactly how I felt as I walked out of the theater. Oh, and I’m definitely feeling a strong urge to attend a rodeo or PBR event in the near future. I mean, a girl can dream, can’t she?
If you haven’t read the book, or heard of the movie, here’s the trailer:
Related Article: Weekend Movie Guide: The Longest Ride, Ex Machina