The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Lucky One is about a man named Logan Thibault (pronounced T-Bow) who served 3 tours in Iraq and during an air raid he found a picture of a girl that became his lucky charm. In order to thank this woman (named Beth) for saving his life he walks across country all the way to find her with his german shepherd, Zeus. Beth and her Nana run a dog kennel, training, and grooming business and when Logan finds her he answers a Wanted Ad to work for the business. He's having a hard time finding the right way to thank her so she doesn't know the real reason he came. Before they know it they begin to fall in love...
I have already read this a few years ago and wanted to reread it in July. I fell back in the love with the story (as is always happens when rereading a Nicholas Sparks book) and wanted to rewatch the movie again as well to compare the two. There are definitely a lot of minor changes from book to movie that I felt like discussing. I like both the book and the movie (although of course I like the book better) and understand the changes needed to happen to put the pages on to the big screen - I just felt like discussing it because having just reread the book and almost immediately after rewatch the movie - a lot of the changes stuck out to me. I wanted to first discuss some of the characters and the actors that played them.
Logan Thibault (played by Zac Efron)
I definitely pictured Logan to be a bit older but I think Efron did a pretty good job at portraying Logan. I will admit he was a bit awkward at times delivering his lines (mostly with Beth) but he was really good with the dog, Zues and especially with Beth's son Ben.
Beth Green (played by Taylor Schilling)
I love this actress - I used to watch a show called Mercy that sadly got cancelled after one season (and left you at a major cliff hanger UGH) and of course nowadays she's most known for playing Piper in Orange is the New Black (which is an awesome show with lots of mature content FYI) so I was happy to see her get a lead role in a Nicholas Sparks adaption. I thought she played Beth really well - she definitely brought her to life! I think my only issue was I just wish that the two main actors looked better together. I think with an older actor playing Logan - I would have believed their chemistry more. The characters in the book are about 29 years old, so I think it would have fit better. I do like both of these actor separately, but they didn't work for me as a couple. Although I don't think they did too bad of a job regardless!
Nana (played by Blythe Danner)
She was the perfect Nana! Definitely my favorite character from the movie! She might not have been as quirky as the character in the book, but she had the perfect essence of Nana and a loving and supportive grandmother to Beth. She was funny and just wonderful!
Keith Clayton (played by Jay R. Ferguson)
This actor was definitely a good villiian and I think he portrayed the character well - he was arrogant and a complete jerk like he is in the book. However they didn't really flesh out his character very much, he plays a bigger role in the book. He's definitely even more of a jerk in the book as well and doesn't have as good a relationship with his son. With that said, I think for the movie he worked well
Ben (played by Riley Thomas Stewart)
He was definitely a cute kid and a good Ben! I really liked how in the movie the character actually does play the violin and pretty good whereas in the book he is only thinking about playing it. The way him and Zac (Logan) play together at the church was cute and how Logan gave Ben the confidence to play - that was perfect!
Overall I really liked the actors and thought they did a great job at portraying the characters in the book. Now I wanted to discuss a few changes I noticed from book to movie (that I didn't already discuss with the characters):
1. Beth's brother, Drake: The storyline was pretty much the same (how Beth and him were close, what he meant to the family..etc) Except they gave the character more closure in the movie. Which I thought was done really well and added something special with the movie.
(How in the movie, Logan knew Drake as "Aces" and he said he knew what happened with him in the war, how he died by trying to save a fellow marine. This is not mentioned in the book, we don't find out how he died and don't get closure with him in the book except that the family already has some closure with what happened)
2. Victor (Logan's friend in the war): He played a bigger part in the book but they did a good job of mentioning him and showing a scene with him and Logan during the war and showing what he meant to Logan and how he was part of the mission to find Beth
(However in the book, Victor explained to Logan that it was his destiny to find this woman and thank her for his life. Logan wasn't convinced and didn't want to come across as a crazy person. But when Victor actually died (in the book) in a boat accident that convinces Logan to fulfill his destiny and his best friends last wish)
3. The boat: In the movie, there's this boat that Beth takes Logan to and says that it doesn't work and then Logan gets it to work. And that scene happens at the end with the boat
(In the book - there is no boat or romantic scene at the end with them together on the boat but I thought this added a good element to the movie and it was romantic)
4. The picture of Beth: In the movie it's a picture of her with a lighthouse in the background. But in the book it's a ferris wheel in the background with 3 pine trees. (that's why the cover is the way it is) But I think it makes sense that it's easier for Logan to track down a lighthouse to find Beth rather than a ferris wheel. But I liked that symbol in the book and that scene in the book where she's describing when the picture is taken and how the cover resembles exactly that. I was hoping for a fair/carnival scene in both the book and movie though. Also speaking of the picture, in the book Logan always carries it with him but in the movie he hides it in his house
(but this makes sense since Keith goes into his house to search for something after learning from a friend that Logan was showing the pic around to find Beth and finds the picture to tell Beth instead of whereas in the book he's searching for a camera that is not mentioned in the movie at all)
And also about the picture, in the book Logan gives the picture to Ben to keep him safe but in the movie he gives him a dog tag. Which still made sense and went along with the movie perfectly.
5. The ending: The ending in the book and movie aren't completely different but there is a pretty big change. (In the book:
when Ben is in the river and his dad Keith is having a hard time getting to Ben and becomes injured - Beth breaks bones in her foot trying to run to the treehouse where Ben is, and Logan tries to save Ben (as his destiny, the real reason he came) he gets caught up with Keith because Keith is trying to hold onto him and Zeus the dog actually saves Ben. It isn't mentioned what happens with either Keith or Logan until the epilogue. In the epilogue it's revealed that Beth gives flowers to Keith's and her brothers grave site. And it ends with her coming home to Logan. In the book, Keith wasn't really held so much as a hero as he is in the movie.
(In the movie
Keith is holding onto his son and Logan saves Ben and then the tree house collapses on Keith and kills him. Although it doesn't make sense why he couldn't try and swim back or Logan didn't try to save him still when the treehouse collapsed - maybe he was just knocked unconscious?
So to me both endings have their flaws. Also the ending is drawn out in the movie but I thought it worked well.
There were definitely some other changes from book to movie but I'm just going to leave it as those 5 that I wanted to specifically discuss. Overall I really liked the cast and the movie and the changes they made. I thought it was a good adaption but the book definitely delves a bit deeper. The movie captured the overall essence and message of the book! It is not my favorite adaptation by any means, but it was a pretty good one! If you haven't read the book, I think you should definitely read it of course- and also watch the movie :)
Have you read the Lucky One? And/or watched the movie? What did you think? What is your favorite Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation? Or favorite adaption of a book?