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Book vs Movie: The Longest Ride

POSTED BY doug ON April 22, 2015

By Paxton Kelly, @PaxtonKelly3

Rarely am I the type of person who strongly favors books over film adaptations and vice versa. I’m one of the fortunate souls who can separate an adapted film from the book it’s based off and not go into shock when the storylines don’t match up precisely. While the character names and plot more-or-less remain the same in film versions, the sequence of events and character portrayals have a habit of changing, and you have to will yourself to acknowledge the film as it’s own tale. With that being said, here’s book vs movie: The Longest Ride edition.

I liked Nicholas Sparks’ book The Longest Ride much more than the film. This does not happen to me often, but for some reason the book struck a chord with me that the film didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed the film and – come on – can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is Scott Eastwood? (Cue sighs.) So, while the film did a wonderful job comparing the journey of two relationships, separated by age and time, personally, the book pulled on my heartstrings in a way the film couldn’t.

The story is about two couples whose lives intersect in surprising ways. Although their relationships differ by experience, they’ve each endured happiness and heartache along their long rides to love.

If you’re having difficulty deciding book vs movie, take a look at my breakdown of the two below. **Beware of potential spoilers.**

Book

Film

Length/time invested: 398 pages (I couldn’t put it down, so I read it in two days.) Runtime and rating: 139 minutes and PG-13.
Goodreads rating: 4.13 out of 5 stars Rotten Tomatoes rating: 29%
Point of view: The point of view switches between three main characters: Sophia, a college senior who’s spent the past four years of her life preparing for her dream job in New York City’s art world; Luke, a former bull riding champion working his way back up the ranks while risking his life in the process; and Ira, an older gentlemen who reflects back on the life he had with his late wife Ruth when he undergoes a car accident. Leading actors: Britt Robertson (25), as Sophia, portrayed by Britt Robertson (25), does a fantastic job relating to the indecision young adults experience when embarking on the real world. Scott Eastwood (29), as Luke, fiercely portrays what a person will put themselves through for love and family obligation. Alan Alda (79), as present day Ira, causes tears to shed while representing a man nearing the end of his life who shares his life of love with a young couple.
Cry-o-meter: 7 out of 10. You can feel the love and admiration Ira has for his wife Ruth as he recounts their blossoming love, along with how lost he feels once she’s gone. Cry-o-meter: 4 out of 10. The only moment I felt myself on the verge of tears was when Ira wakes up and finds that Ruth has passed away in the night. His reaction is heartwrenching.
Characters: The characters switch from present to past. Ira and Ruth, in both past and present, showcase an old fashioned type of love that is everlasting and built on devotion. Luke and Sophia represent a relationship in today’s day and age where young adults are more inclined to put a hold on love to pursue their own career goals and individual dreams. Characters: With the limited amount of time movies have to tell a story, some characters are left out and audiences miss out on those relationships. For example, Sophia’s ex-boyfriend Brian is cut from the movie, which isn’t crucial, but he plays a major role in how Sophia and Luke meet in the book, as well as tests the friendship between Sophia and her best friend Marcia.
Soundtrack: Most of the time I like to read in silence, but if I’m in the mood for some background noise, I turn on my Spotify and play the Deep Sleep playlist. Soundtrack: Any scene that was set at the rodeo or showed Luke in his cowboy get up, country music played – naturally – and it had me wishing rodeo season wasn’t over here in Texas!
My rating: A My rating: B
A captivating tale that shows the struggles of a blossoming relationship and the obstacles faced by one that lasted a lifetime. Although I wish the movie would have stuck to the sequence of events in the book, Nicholas Sparks fans will not be disappointed. Yet again, the master of romance provides a feel-good love story that leaves audiences hopeful for true love.

 

If I decide to read a book after I’ve seen the film adaptation, I think of it as watching the deleted scenes of a movie. Although they didn’t make it into the full length feature, they’re still very much a part of the story and flush out those details you wish could’ve been displayed on the big screen.

If I choose to read a book before seeing the film adaptation, I’m that much more excited to visually witness the telling of a story I’ve surrendered days or weeks to, have put reality on hold for, in order to see the characters with whom I’ve fallen in love come to life before me.

So what’ll it be folks…book, film, or both?

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