The Last song... or the last time I will watch THAT movie
The Last Song
So we all know this. It is common sense. The book is always better than the movie! Therefore, even though we should know better, when we see our favorite book is being brought to the big screen, we immediately get excited and make plans to go see it!
There has been several books made into movies… Harry Potter series, The Twilight Series, Dear John, Lord of The Rings, Chronicles of Narnia… just to name a few. Some of these are good…. Others (not even mentioned) are horrible, horrible adaptations. Okay, so I can’t resist, but any Stephen King book made into a movie is pretty bad. You must admit, even if you don’t mind watching the movie, it still falls into the category of a bad B flick. But hey, there is nothing wrong with a B flick every once in awhile!
Okay, so we aren’t here to trash all the good books made into bad movies… we are actually just here to talk about one. It was hyped up. People read the book and couldn’t wait for the movie. But, was the time waited really worth it. Okay, so I know this duo has it’s following fan group. If you are part of it, feel free to leave. Yet, if you are up for a good debate, I would enjoy your feedback, and would love for you to keep reading.
By the way, just so you have fair warning… if you haven’t read the book or watched the movie… there might be spoilers. I would hate to ruin the story… even if it is rather predictable.
The Last Song
First off, I would like to say I thoroughly enjoyed the book, even if it was typical Nicolas Sparks or not. The fact that it was predictable, or even that it made you cry during the last 100 pages or so (which makes it very difficult to read) didn’t bother me. Then again, I usually don’t stick to one particular author, therefore I jump from one type of book to another, depending on my mood.
The book was a quick read for 390 pages. It quickly described how Ronnie Miller was forced to spend the summer with her Dad, and how she seemingly hated that idea. She was mad at her father for leaving the family and hadn’t talked to him for 3 years.
Now since I am not here to write a book report, I am going to get to the point. After reading the book, these are the main points that I took away. Yes, overall, the story is about a 17 year old girl who spends the summer falling in love, but, I believe the true plot line really was the relationship she had with her father and the meaning behind the last song.
When I watched the movie, some of these main points seemed to be only briefly touched on. They sidetracked. Okay, so from what I have read, the movie was written first, so I guess it really wasn’t sidetracked. Yet, why would you describe stuff so beautifully in the book, yet the movie seemed to be lacking.
So I do understand, if I would have watched the movie first, maybe my thoughts would have been a bit different. My husband even suggested that I give the book a chance to cool off first and then watching the movie a little later. Yet, I have a hard time seeing that this movie would have made much sense if I couldn’t have answered some of the questions that arose, and only the book gave those answers.
Therefore, in no particular order, here are my problems that I have between the book and the movie.
Problem 1: The friendship between Ronnie and Blaze
In the movie, you watch Ronnie and Blaze meet. In the book, it describes the meeting and describes how they actually started to form this friendship. Therefore, the movie left a lot to the imagination. After all, this friendship bloomed because they were both outsiders. Yet, while both venues showed how Blaze became jealous of Ronnie because Marcus showed his interest in her, in didn’t complete the plot line as to why Blaze was such an important aspect of the story. It made no sense why Blaze would set up Ronnie for shoplifting and why later in the movie, why Ronnie would eventually help out Blaze. Hello…. Ronnie is supposed to come across as a teenager rebelling. Yet, she seems to be a model citizen, with the exception of her little shoplifting experience.
The shoplifting was a big part of the story. That shoplifting is what kept her at her dad’s house instead of returning to New York when she wanted to leave the first time. The friendship between Ronnie and Blaze is what ultimately got Ronnie off the hook.
So, I guess the movie took the path of the teenage love story. I guess this was a rather small issue. Yet, the movie could have taken a few more seconds to expand on their friendship.
What's your opinion?
Do you believe the musical aspect of the story was played down in the movie
Problem 2: The Father
There was the plot line that I thought was a little more important than the teenage love story. Okay, I get it, the love story sells, but I am sure this plot line would have sold as well. The storyline was really about the father connecting with his children. It should have focused more on the relationship aspect. The movie really didn’t show the father rebuilding his relationship with his son or his daughter, for that matter. In the book, this was a big part. It is what made Ronnie see how understanding her father was, and how much he loved his children.
Because they really didn’t show this aspect of the story, you also didn’t get to see how the father was getting sick. The book gives you foreshadowing. Yes, it was predictable. We knew he was sick. They clued us in and we got the hint. Yet, in the movie, there was no foreshadowing. All of a sudden, he just collapsed. Talk about being confused. If I hadn’t already read the book, I would have been completely lost (just like the people who I watched the movie with.)
Problem 3: The Last Song
Okay, so this is my biggest problem with the whole movie/book. In the book, this was a big part. It was all about the music. When Ronnie first arrived at her dad’s house, he was constantly playing the piano. She wanted nothing to do with the piano. The reason… because she hadn’t touched the piano since her father left. She thought the reason her dad was playing the piano was to get her back into playing the music again. She told him she never wanted to hear the piano or see the piano. Because of the love her father showed, he actually gave up playing and boarded up the house to hide the piano, even though it was very much a part of his life.
The movie actually lost me when she played the piano for her summer love interest, Will. To me, that discredit’s the actual meaning behind the last song. The last song was being written by her father. Because Ronnie didn’t want him to play, he hid the song. She eventually found his scribblings when he became sick. She decided to finish the song for him, a tribute to her father and their last song. It ruined the meaning behind the last song.
The movie was about a girl who refused to play or even hear the piano because of the memories she associated with it. Yet, the movie downplayed the whole meaning. Because of that downplay, the movie should have never been entitled “The Last Song!” It would have been better suited as “Another teenager Summer Fling!”
Books from Nicholas Sparks
In parting, I realize when books are made into movies… or in this case… a movie is made into a book, there is going to be several details that will be used in one medium and not the other. The important part is whether the story you were trying to get across came out right in both the book and the movie. In the case of “The Last Song,” the movie seemed more focused on the teenage love story and not about the father/daughter relationship. In the book, while both plots were played out, they seemed to have complimented each other nicely.
While other book/movie duos seemed to have been successful, with both aspects being pulled off very well. I don’t believe “The Last Song” accomplished this. Separately, both the movie and book are good. Together, I found them very dissatisfying.
While the book is always known to be better, I felt the movie did little justice to the story told. Which is sad, since Nicholas Sparks had his input on both aspects of the story. So, if you are still interested after this review… read the book… or watch the movie…. But whatever you do, don’t do both in close vicinity of each other.
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