I generally have a rule where I won’t see a film adaptation of a novel until I’ve actually read the book. This week, “The Longest Ride” opened in theaters and even though I’ve owned this book for months, I was only about 20 pages in.
While I couldn’t really get into the book, the movie trailer roped me in. Sure enough, I was there alongside my friend with about 20 other women, a few romantic daters and one old man.
I had a feeling the movie was going to be good or I wouldn’t have spent the money, but I had no idea how much I would actually enjoy it. I thought the film adaption of “The Longest Ride” was top notch.
In the movie we meet a college senior named Sophia (Britt Roberson) who falls for a professional bull rider named Luke (Scott Eastwood). While on their first date they stumble across a car off the side of the road with an elderly man, named Ira, inside. They call 911 and pull him out of the car. Regardless of the accident, Ira still asked Sophia to grab a mysterious box from his car.
Later she discovers it’s filed with letters from his late wife, Ruth. While Ira’s recovering, Sophia offers to read the letters to Ira. Through this technique, we see not only one love story come alive on screen—but two. Like all Nicholas Sparks movies, there are obstacles both couples must face. And of course there’s intensely sad moments too.
This movie truly had everything I want in a romance. I laughed, I cried, and I felt happy when the credits rolled. I loved the cast and thought both couples had dynamic chemistry. The way they wrapped up the ending was great too—it was truly exceptional. I left the theater with tears in my eyes, a smile on my face and wanting to see it again.
Good ole Nick’s movies have definitely gone down in quality these last few years, but this one can be ranked somewhere up there with “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember”—it’s just that good.
The book, however, ranks somewhere between completely horrible and a total waste of time. I loved the movie so much that I decided to read the book from start to finish that night. Compared to the movie, the book is horrendous.
First of all, the two are completely different. Sure, there are some similarities, but overall they seem like two completely different stories. The core of the story is the same (kind of), but whoever reworked it for the movie knew what they were doing. They took a decent idea and a mediocre book and made something wonderful.
Also, there was a ghost in the book. Haven’t we overdone it a little with the ghosts a little bit Sparks? Please quit with the ghosts already. It was cute one time. We’re over it. Thank goodness someone else decided to cut that whole thing out and use love letters to tell Ira’s story instead of his dead wife. We get it Nick, you like ghosts. Please find a new routine though.
If I would have read the book first, there’s no way I would have paid to see the movie. How sad would that have been? I haven’t enjoyed a movie this much in a long time.
Film critics may be giving “The Longest Ride” mixed reviews, but I would recommend the movie to anyone (except my sister that is). You get two beautiful stories for the price of one. So far, it’s my favorite movie of the year.
On the flip side though, I wouldn’t recommend the book to anyone.
Maybe I’m getting to the point in my life where I don’t actually enjoy Nicholas Sparks books anymore. Maybe I’ve been exposed to too many great works these past few months to enjoy something so mediocre. I always knew they were pretty bad, but I always loved them despite that. After this book, though, I may officially be done reading his “work”.
I’m going to keep seeing the movies though. And I’ll probably keep loving them too.
*Photo Credit to Fox 2000 Pictures