Monday, February 18, 2013

The Movie vs. The Book: Safe Haven

 
On Friday night, a few friends and I went to see the film adaption of Nicholas Sparks' novel Safe Haven starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel.
 
The theater was filled mostly with teenage girls, most of whom were clinging to tissues and each other by the time the credits started rolling.

Here is my brief introduction to the story from a previous post:
After traveling from place to plate for several months, Katie Feldman has finally settled down in Southport, North Carolina, the classic small town where everyone knows everything about everybody. But Katie has a secret, something she has worked to keep hidden since she left Boston. Just when she thinks Southport is not the place for her, Katie meets Alex - a kind, widowed store owner with two young children. As Katie struggles with her private knowledge, and her feelings for Alex, she comes to discover that love is the only true safe haven.
 
Now here's the thing about reading the book first,  you don't end up crying, because you already know what is going to happen. (take the ReadIt1st pledge here). And although I found myself not shedding any tears, that does not mean I didn't not feel the emotionally climatic ending that was portrayed perfectly, and actually much better than I expected.

The movies that have been derived from Sparks' books in the past have been very romanticised, very dramatic films. Safe Haven was different, making this movie my favorite out of the ones I have seen. Rated at PG-13, this movie was very reserved, and although Katie's ex-husband ends up looking quite stalker-like/very creepy while he wanders around Safe Haven looking for her (one of my friends had me laughing very hard at this moment as she had whispered to me "The bad guy is very wet. Why so wet?") this movie was highly appropriate for the many teenage girls seated in the theater. Don't get me wrong, this was not a "kid" movie by any means, teenagers and adults are more the central and suggested age level.
 
Several new scenes were added to the movie, and I actually think these new scenes enhanced the story in parts where the book was lacking. In my review of the book, I believe I mentioned that it was written very cinematically, therefore, the novel lacked the more in depth plot I would have preferred. My favorite added scene is when Alex falls through the hole in Katie's kitchen floor. This moment certainly had the audience laughing, as well as during several other parts of the movie. You can watch the kitchen floor scene for yourself  here.
 
Overall, I was highly impressed with this adaptation of the novel, it was funny, it was a bit scary, and emotionally impactful. It stresses the ideals of family, finding your passion, and the excitement of true love. To be honest, I think I liked the movie better than the book! ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On This Valentine's Night

Love (n.)- an intense feeling of deep affection

The above is Google's definition of the word February 14th is always dedicated too. But what is yours? Many writers, painters, speakers, and common people have tackled the idea of love- what it feels like, what it looks like, how it is created.

But not one of these people are ever right. Love is different for each human, and whether your love is for your spouse, for music, for literature, or for your country, everyone has experienced this "feeling of deep affection" at least once in their lifetime. At least, I'd like to hope so.

Maybe that is really what Valentine's day is all about. Maybe it's about extending our love. Extending it past the ones we hold dear, but to those we normally don't talk to - the ones we sigh in traffic with, the ones we pass in the hallways, or the ones we mumble to in the grocery check-out line.

On this cold and brisk February night, I sit here hoping that you spent your day lovingly. That you spent it with kindness, with an open-mind, and an open-heart. I hope that you extended your love, and if you didn't, there is always next year.

The following are some of my favorite quotes/passages about love, and I hope you love them too:

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

"You do not love someone because they are perfect, you love them in spite that they are not." -Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

 “Do not pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love. -J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"Look after my heart- I've left it with you." -Stephenie Meyer, Eclipse

"Love is like the wind, you can't see it, but you can feel it."
- Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

"We love the things we love for what they are." -Robert Frost

"Oh, I wouldn't mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you." -John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Safe Haven

Safe Haven 
Nicholas Sparks 
340 pages

“I've come to believe that in everyone's life, there's one undeniable moment of change, a set of circumstances that suddenly alters everything.” 

After traveling from place to plate for several months, Katie Feldman has finally settled down in Southport, North Carolina, the classic small town where everyone knows everything about everybody. But Katie has a secret, something she has worked to keep hidden since she left Boston. Just when she thinks Southport is not the place for her, Katie meets Alex - a kind, widowed store owner with two young children. As Katie struggles with her private knowledge, and her feelings for Alex, she comes to discover that love is the only true safe haven.

This was my fourth read by Nicholas Sparks ( A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, The Last Song ), and out of all four, this is the only one threw which I did not cry. Sparks is known for his emotional endings, but in Safe Haven it was not such a punch in the face.

I found Safe Haven to be written in a very cinematic way, with limited extensions of plot and characters. The story flowed as a movie would, with rapid turns of events and little description. But maybe this is why many of his novels have been made into films so successfully. I should have expected this from a Sparks' novel though, as I believe his purpose for all of his books are to simply tell a story, without all of the embellishments of theme and analogy - the latter I tend to prefer.

If you are looking for an easy, comfort read - this would be it.

The movie adaption of this novel is coming to theaters this Thursday - February 14th, 2013. To watch the trailer click here