Thursday, June 14, 2012

Movie in a Bottle

A Nicholas Sparks Production

My wife and I watched the movie The Vow last night. It stars Channing Tatum (or Tatum Channing as I always think of him, just seems to make more sense) from Dear John, a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, and Rachel McAdams, from The Notebook, a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel.

I went through the whole movie thinking I was watching an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book. I was so happy.

I’ve wanted to read something by Sparks for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. I thought this would be a nice little test. If I enjoyed the movie, the logic went, I would probably enjoy his books and would pick one up soon. I know, I know, they take liberties with movies and they are rarely as good as the books. But this is how I was turned onto the Twilight series, which I quite enjoyed reading. And Harry Potter, as well.

Let’s get the suspense out of the way. I liked the movie. More confounding, I liked Tatum Channing in it (sorry, that’s just what his name is to me). I’ve now seen him in G.I. Joe, 21 Jump St., and this. And the second and third times I saw him were enough to make me forget about the first time. He’s now done funny and he’s done sweet. What can’t this guy do? (I will not be seeing Magic Mike. Whatever he’s going to do in that movie, I’m not too interested in seeing actually. And even more uninterested in having my wife see.)

But back to books. As I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think of it in terms of a written story. I wondered if certain parts were in the book. I wondered if the actors were being true to the characters in the book. How was that scene written? Was that look actually written out, or was that added for the movie? How did Leo say “fiercely” with so much passion in print? More points to Tatum.

After the movie finished, I decided I liked Nicholas Sparks books and I would choose one to read next. As it turns out, upon further research, I like movies that star people who have starred in other Nicholas Spark book adaptations.

So now I must reach out to my imaginary blog followers and ask for your input. Who’s read Nicholas Sparks? Would you recommend his works, and if so, which one first?

I will recommend The Vow as a sweet movie that avoids certain obvious plot twists in favor of more realistic outcomes. It got me thinking, about writing and about life, and that’s always a good thing. If you have someone you’re deeply in love with that you can watch it with like I did, all the better.

If you happen to have forgotten who you’re deeply in love with, don’t worry, you will totally get this movie!

1 comment:

  1. Erm. So you probably aren't surprised by this but I am still embarrassed by it-- I have read almost all of Sparks' novels except maybe for the last couple. His first few novels are his best, and several I bawled during. So you should definitely read the Notebook and the Wedding probably two of my favorites (this is not in lieu of Ender's Game though, which is actually a good book ;-)). So... although I think of Sparks' novels as a guilty pleasure read, I was very turned off by an interview he did saying he was the best writer in the world or something like that. So part of me wants to boycott him for that reason. But that said, his books do tend to be addictive. I read one recently that was just terrible (because something always bad happens to his characters)-- so I told myself if this guy died and gave his heart via transplant to his love's son, I was going to throw the book across the room. That's what happened, and I haven't read one since. But maybe I'll give The Vow a chance. I think it was filmed in North Carolina, because my mom said she toured the set. Probably more than you wanted to know.