Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sparks Fly

With watching “The Last Song” amidst a crazy preliminary exam schedule, I finally finished all the six movies of the Nicholas Sparks series. By this time, I had (partly) known what the story would be like, even without having read the storyline. I was sure that the story would be a love story located in a beach town, there would be love followed by temporary separation, the locales would be picturesque, with birds flying and the sunlight shimmering on the waves of the Atlantic, there would be an amazing house (possibly overlooking the sea), and someone important would eventually die. Death could be due to an unexpected illness like cancer (I was right). The movie would be shot in North Carolina (I was almost right, it was shot near the NC-GA border, in a place called Tybee Island). There might be unread letters and messages exchanged (I was right again). I know all this because the movies based on Nicholas Sparks’s novels are made in a mixer using a common formula. Add a teenager couple in love or a middle-aged couple with broken relationships, looking for love. Mix some drama in their loveless lives. Ensure that the woman is an annoying character while the man is an absolutely “unable-to-take-my-eyes-off-your-body”, brawny, gorgeous hunk you would drool over. The house would be more gorgeous than the man, and the beach locales would be more gorgeous than the house. As predictable as a Suraj Barjatya or a Yash Chopra movie in Bollywood, that is the formula for these movies.

The only movie that was somewhat different was “The Notebook”. As usual, one of the characters suffer here, but from senility and Alzheimer’s disease and not from cancer and untimed death at a young age. Of all the six movies, “The Notebook” is the one I liked the most (I have already watched it five times). From there, the journey went downhill and the other movies turned out to be a little disappointing. You can always read the story and the review, so I will spare you that. When you have watched all of them, you will identify a common theme that binds all the movies, despite them all coming from different directors. All of them have been tearjerkers, and nothing extraordinarily brilliant, but I still wanted to watch them all, one after the other, and the end of each one, I cried buckets.

The Notebook: Nice way of storytelling, partly in flashback. Dude looks great. Chick is annoying. The house is great. The scene were they boat amidst a swarm of birds is a visual treat. The scene where Noah says, “It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over” and kisses Allie still makes my stomach flutter, given the passionate way it is done. The locales, the rains, and the sun are amazing. The old Noah in no way resembles the youthful Noah. Overall, highly recommended.

A Walk to Remember: Landon made me feel like a teenager again. Jamie was not just boring, she is lifeless. I wonder what was her point of wearing such ill-fitting clothes. I am madly in love with the song “Only Hope” from the movie, and still listen to it half a dozen times every day (the male version by Switchfoot is better than the female version). I didn’t like the way when everything was going right, Jamie had to die of cancer. Nice houses and great locations. Cried buckets for Landon. Overall, quite a watchable movie.

Nights in Rodanthe: The house and the beach are enough reasons for you to watch the movie. Paul is good, Adrienne is so-so. Nothing much to recommend. Wonder why Paul dies once again when they both fell in love and decided to reunite. If nothing, watch the movie for the house. Overall, didn’t mind watching it once.

Message in a Bottle: I wonder why Garrett is so old, slow, and grumpy. Frankly, I fail to see the chemistry between Garrett and Theresa (who herself is pretty unglamorous in the role). I loved the concept of finding letters in bottles. The scenes from the sea and the boat on sail are absolutely gorgeous. Once again, when everything gets going, Garrett drowns in the sea and dies. Overall, somehow sat through it once.

The Last Song: Both Ronnie and Will were very painful to watch in the movie, especially Ronnie, with her husky voice and her man-like, rebellious acting. A nice house and a great beach. Even a bad observer for details like me found a few flaws in the movie. In one of the scenes, Will and Ronnie hug each other by the setting sun and night follows. Just that it is the Atlantic Ocean and it was the dawning sun, not the setting sun. I wonder why someone as rich and as influential as Will would drive a truck, volunteer at the local aquarium, and play volleyball with a bunch of local boys. A lot of things just didn’t make sense in the movie. Thankfully, neither Will nor Ronnie die, but Steve dies of lung cancer. Overall, painfully sat through the movie once.

Dear John: John is great to watch, but Savannah is unbearable. John’s father is an interesting character in the movie. I haven’t read the book, and I have heard that it is somewhat different from the movie. I could barely sit through the movie. I have no idea why Savannah had to terminate their relationship and marry someone else, why her husband had to suffer from cancer, and why did John leave all his money for the treatment of her husband. A lot of things didn’t make sense to me in the movie, and if I knew better, I would not watch it.

So there goes my short synopsis of all the six movies. Wonder which book the next movie would be based on.



Anonymous said...

good reviews ... I myself like the Notebook very much and Walk to Remember definitely takes the second spot. I saw Nights in Rodanthe only for the picturesque location and the movie was also just ok. The other movies, I did not even tried watching since the trailers made me skip them. After your reviews, I think I made the right choice :).

deep said...

:D lol ..the sad endings.. I got to agree with you on this..
But theres this The Wedding which I read recently..might give this one a try... I really found it very different from his other writings..a novel which brings a smile of contentment as you reach towards the end..and you like to smile over and over, thinking about its excerpts.

Firefly said...

Hey Sunshine,
I have been reading your blog for a long time now, never commented! I like the simplicity in your writings and I always wished I could write as honestly and in a down-to-earth way as you do :)

sunshine said...

Anonymous- :)

deep- Thanks for recommending the wedding. I haven't read it, but now I will.

Firefly- Absolutely. Thank you :)