Friday, October 3, 2014

Falling In Love With Love

Many times in cinema we see that many films are adapted from novels. Even if it is just an idea from a book, many screenwriters have taken ideas and adapted them into their own version. In 2014 alone there were at least 50 books adapted into films. Books that included Gone Girl, The Giver, The Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent, If I Stay, The Monuments Men, The Fault in Our Stars, and plenty more. However for certain genres we tend to see specific authors more often. One author that has definitely made his mark in cinema would be Nicholas Sparks. Nicholas Sparks writes romance novels that people can’t help but fall in love with, no matter how much heart break or tears it causes. So far he has had ten of his books adapted into films. And is also an executive producer on the television series, Deliverance Creek. He has been quite active in not only writing novels, but working in the entertainment industry. Each of his films stays very true to the novel’s plot line. Each film that was made based off of his books, made sure to include him in the process of making the film. 

Nicholas Sparks did not actually major in english in college, he majored in business finance and a year after graduating college, he married his wife. While in school he wrote on the side for fun. Some of these novels he wrote in college, were never published. And once he finished college, he began to write more on a regular day to day bases. His first book to be published was The Notebook in 1992. Two years later his book was published, and within a week of its publication it was put on the New York Times best-sellers list. Obviously after such great success, he continued to write full time.

His first movie that got him much recognition was A Walk to Remember in 2002. The movie’s budget was $11 million, and racked up $47,494,916 worldwide in box offices(IMDB). The movie is about a boy and a girl. The boy, Landon, is a bit of a trouble maker, and has to do community service within the town. While doing this community service he meets this girl, Jamie, who happens to be the daughter of the town’s Reverend. They start hanging out because Jamie begins to tutor Landon, and they become friends. Eventually Landon starts to fall for Jamie, and she falls for him back. However, one day Landon finds out that she has terminal leukemia cancer and that she is no longer taking treatment for it. They keep going on with their relationship, even though she was getting worse. They even get married. Everything is great until the one day that Jamie finally dies. However the story goes on with Landon and how his love never died for her, even after her death. 

The movie's beautiful quotes and passionate love left audiences wanting more. Two years later, The Notebook was produced. The Notebook is his most well known movie. The Notebook’s budget was quite more than A Walk to Remember. It was $29 million, and grossed worldwide a wapping of $115.6 million(IMDB). The Notebook was a huge hit then, and continues to be one the most well known romance movies of all time. The interesting part I discovered was the director, Nick Cassavetes, is the son of John Cassavetes. He also casted his mother, Gena Rowlands, as the older version of Allie. 
The movie was set during the 1940s, about two teenagers, Noah and Allie, that meet and of course fall in love. However, Allie’s parents are apart of the higher class in society, and do not approve of Noah, they regard him as trash because he will not be able to provide for her. Because of this, they move Allie back to their old house so the two of them are forced to break up. Noah continues to write Allie one letter each day for 365 days. And in return, no response from Allie. Allie eventually meets someone else and falls in love, and ends up getting engaged. However eventually she is led back to Noah through a newspaper article he is in, and they basically pick up right where they left off. Finally Allie’s mother comes clean about hiding the letters, and Allie chooses Noah. But just when you think there is finally a happy ending, Nicholas Sparks tricks you. During the movie an older couple at a nursery home is reading the story of Allie and Noah. The audience discovers slowly throughout the film that the couple is Allie and Noah. However, Allie has dementia and cannot remember Noah. So everyday he reads this story to her, hoping it will bring Allie back to him forever. Unfortunately most of the time it only lasts for about five minutes. Until the final time, she remembers for a little longer than usual. But not long enough until she has a panic attack because she cannot remember who he is. And in the final scenes they lie together in bed and end up dying together. The Notebook novel/film kept audiences guessing, and told audiences the truth. That in life we don't always get the happy ending we want. But it is the moments that were happy, that we have to rememebr and be grateful for. The Notebook continues to share the story of Noah and Allie and connect audiences everywhere. 

Overall Nicholas Sparks writes the most compelling stories, even when they are full of heartbreak. And I can guarantee you that most people go to see these romance films solely for the fact that he wrote them. His novels/films are full of hope and eternal love, something that we all dream for and want. These films remind us everyday that even when the going can get tough, it’s okay, because at the end of the day it is our loved ones and what they teach us that can help us get through it.

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