One Day movie review

Sigh

It is about the love that she always wanted, the love he always had, then the love they both deserve.

I loved the novel but friends didn’t like the movie adaptation very much. I do think they should have read the novel first because the context of the story is pretty much threshed out in written form. The film presented the context as episodes of their friendship spanning twenty years, interactions and convergent points in their separate lives. However, there are two important factors that the film missed out on to give more depth to its characters:

1) I do think the absence of their exchange of letters (that made up the first few chapters of the book) and how it switches from Emma and Dexter’s perspectives of each other’s letters were critical in establishing their personalities. It was fun reading them because they embodied the characteristics of the respective writers. The film just mentioned it in passing, making it seem like there’s more space in between their meet-ups when there were correspondences that bridged the relationship over the years.

2) Another important element missing in the movie was the gravity of their career dreams. Sure, Anna Hathaway’s anguish over getting stuck in that Mexican resto was revealed, but her journey to become a writer was not there. Jim Sturgess’s career path to failure, on the other hand, was clear. I just felt there was more priority in showing that Dexter was a complete jerk fumbling through life while Emma’s other struggles were muted, and her emotional attachment to her love for him was the only one highlighted.

These were probably the reasons why my friends felt detached to them as individuals. As a couple and as protagonists though, the film had more success. The great chemistry and tension between Jim and Anne carried the story forward, and despite the holes in the film’s storytelling, I still shed a few tears over “I love you so much, but I don’t like you anymore.”

Things that I like about the movie: Tears for Fears “Sowing The Seeds Of Love” playing in the background during their 80’s scene (so apt). Anne Hathaway’s British accent is believable enough. Plus, you just have to look into her sad, big, brown eyes and feel the deep hurt as the friend-zoned woman. Jim Sturgess is perfect as the pretty boy lost in life, but his transformation as an older, mature Dexter could give your hearts a sympathetic ache.

I recommend that audiences read the book first before watching this. However, even knowing how it turns out and being aware of the tragedy at the end could not take away the pain of the twist that closes the story. It will make you surprised and sigh a bit in sadness, but as it ends, it is a celebration of friendship and love that changes you and treasured even after death.

Click here to take a look at my book review

The Lucky One movie review

I’ve kinda figured out the formula for the Nicholas Sparks novels, and even if I haven’t read the book for this new one, my immediate question is, “who’s going to die?”. Haha.

Zac Efron plays a very reserved yet troubled Marine Corps survivor who is dealing with the death of comrades and as a whole the traumas of war. A ray of light shines on a rectangular object that caught his eye amidst the rubble after the ambush, and he discovers that it is a picture of a beautiful woman. Curious, he asks around and tries to find the owner of the photo. Obviously spaced out and figuratively lost, the only thing that anchors him to reality is one true goal: to find the woman in the photo.

There are no surprises in the plot as it is straightforward about the destined-for-each-other theme. Efron manages to be convincing as a quiet persona unlike his vibrant High School Musical alter-ego, and I couldn’t help but be drawn into this introverted character (Logan). I do believe he pulled this one off, his turmoil displayed more as an aching sadness and loneliness more than of a distraught, violent nature stereotypical of soldiers in films coping with post-traumatic stress (well, there was this one scene where he did hulk out at the background). Taylor Schilling (who plays Beth) is beautiful and has a lovely voice. She’s naturally charming as a love interest, although there’s quite a disconnection in her as a mother to Riley Thomas Stewart who plays her son, Ben. Now Ben is adoooorable. He has his shining moments as a shy kid slowly coming out of his shell. Now that I think about it, the bond between soldier and boy developed first because of their process of overcoming their shyness, and this is the first real love story in this movie adaptation! Of course, you know what follows.

Among the Sparks movies I have seen, this is the LEAST dramatic, and maybe it’s also the reason why a lot of my romantic friends don’t recommend it too much. In my opinion, this is a fine love story. I am refreshed by the absence of hysterics, the cinematography and editing successfully contrasting the warm and fuzzy to the dark and dreary. The only weak point I could point out in the screenplay is how it is an absurd notion for Beth to not feel flattered with Logan’s love to find her when the secret intention was divulged. Well, it’s probably because she’s obviously jaded (and too freaked out to welcome an almost stalker), but still! Sorry, am just thinking if that were me, I would melt like ice cream on a desert. But yeah, whatever.

Someone does die, but there’s a happy, romantic sunset ending. I guess the point of the story is, how can one refuse the strong force of love that tries to knock down all barriers just to get to YOU? Maybe, if you feel that kind of love at hand, grab it and don’t let it pass you by. Maybe that’s your destiny.

Book purchase #4

20120817-085705.jpg

And it’s just for this week! But you see, this is a kind of must because any graphic novel purchase from our local bookstore will give a raffle ticket to win a trip for 2 tickets to the New York Comic Con in Oct.! This is raffle stub #2 (promo ends on the 31st). I’ve budget for one more on my last paycheck, just to make it three entries 🙂