Not so "lucky" to see the movie. "The Lucky One"

Way back in 8th grade, I came home from Target with a book in my hand I was more than excited to read.  It was The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I knew that Zac Efron was going to be starring in the movie of the book that they were filming at the time. I was only 4 pages deep by the time I realized something dreadful...the book was about adults, not the teen love I was expecting.  I shoved the book in my bookshelf and completely forgot about it.  Then, a couple days before I left for spring break this year I was watching TV, and I saw a movie preview for The Lucky One, I scavenged through my bookshelf, and brought the book along with me to the beach.  I'm very glad I finally read it with a new view point, instead of an immature, 8th grade view point.

Reading it two years later and actually reading more than 4 pages, I developed a new respect for the book.  The novel tells the story of a marine who finds a picture of a girl in a field while in Iraq.  He keeps the picture with him, and ends up believing that this girl in the picture is his good luck charm.  He then finds the girl and falls in love with her. The girl, Elizabeth, ends up being a struggling single mother.

In the book, the main character (the marine) Thibault, talks much of his best friend from the marines, Victor.  Victor is a strong believer in fate, destiny, and omens.  Victor is the one who finally convinces Thibault that the picture he found is good luck, and is saving him from many near-death expiriences. Victor also convinces Thibault to find the girl in the photo.  If it wasn't for Victor, Thibault would have never found Elizabeth, his soul mate.  Much of the book is themed around fate and what is meant to be, will be.  Whenever this theme is brought up, it is always tied into Victor, and how he died in a fluke fishing accident, not in the war.  Thibault believes that this death happened to show that he really needs to find the girl and thank her for everything.  Victor really represents the theme of if you follow your destiny, what is meant to happen will, because everything happens for a reason.

I saw the movie after I read the book, thankfully.  The reason I was not really a fan of the movie was because they hardly even mentioned Victor.  He says that Victor died in the war, and was a strong believer of faith.  That's all of Victor that is mention.  Without Victor's importance in the movie, I did not get the same feel of the whole "follow your destiny" thing that I did as I was reading the book.  It was actually pretty upsetting; the movie did a pretty poor job of representing this theme.

The book also has another main theme, that you should follow your heart, not your mind.  In the book, Elizabeth has a son that Thibault gets along with very well.  Thibault also get along very well with Elizabeth's Nana.  Elizabeth is very skeptical to fall for Thibault, although it's obvious she wants too.  She is afraid because she thinks if she has a new boyfriend, her ex-husband will threaten to take away her custody of her beloved son.  Her over worrying mind stops what her heart wants to do.  Once she lets go of her fears though, and falls in love with Thibault, she ends up being very happy.

The movie did an okay job of representing this, but the movie also left out a major part.  In the beginning of the book, Thibault has a confrontation with Elizabeth's husband before he even meets Elizabeth(only because the husband is a cop and he is suspicious of Thibault).  This establishes the sense of hatred the ex-husband has for Thibault before he and Elizabeth's relationship comes into the picture.  If I hadn't read the book, I would have been very confused during the movie as to why the husband hated Thibault so much.

In the end, the movie was okay, I guess.  Maybe I only liked it because Zac Efron was in it.  I would recommend this book to anyone though.  Although it is about adults and marriage, it was still a page turner. I got a lot out of the book; it actually made me want to just go with my fate.  I think the movie was sappier than anything. Have you seen the movie, if so, what did you think of it?  If you read the book too, what other parts were sad that they left out of the movie?

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Comment by Sloan Catherine Winters on May 7, 2012 at 2:21pm

Hi! I'm Sloan from CCHS. I haven't seen the movie or read the book. But, I wanted to see the movie and have made it a goal to read all the Nicholas Sparks novels. I'm really excited to see the movie at some point or another but it is disappointing to find out that they are missing a major theme that takes a lot away from the movie. I adore the idea of "everything happens for a reason". I actually made my facebook status a quote  that I saw somewhere: "Do not chase people. Be you and do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you, and stay" Your description of the movie and book reminded me of my status, although he did chase someone--the girl. However, it sounds like he was convinced that that was his destiny, so it still applies to him. I'm not a HUGE fan of Zac Efron, he is just really good looking. Nonetheless, I really want to see the movie and hopefully I get around to reading the book sometime! Nice post!

Comment by Alicia Donoghue on May 7, 2012 at 5:38pm

Hey! I'm Alicia from CCHS! You made the book sound so interesting! I never was interested in reading it, I just wanted to see the movie. Since the movie is missing a major theme from the book, would you still consider going to see it? And will people who see the movie still understand somewhat of the theme that Nicholas Sparks wanted them to see? I think after reading your post, I want to read the book more than I want to see the movie! Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Sarah Goodale on May 8, 2012 at 6:20pm

Hi, I'm Sarah! I have to agree on loving the book "The Lucky One" it was really captivating and I loved reading it during the summer. I have yet to see the movie, and because they leave out Victor, I am not so sure I want to waste time going to watch it right now. Your point on Victor being an essential part of the book is completely true, and without his virtues and beliefs Thibault would have gotten no where in his quest to find his soul mate. I can also see in the movie where it would be confusing since they leave out a inside part on Elizabeth's ex. Hard to believe they skipped that, but oh well. I enjoyed reading your post!

Comment by Amelia West on May 8, 2012 at 6:51pm

I have always found Nicolas Sparks novels to be a little too cheesy for my taste, which is surprising because I usually enjoy shallow entertainment like that. However, I think that you bring up a good point that the maturity of the characters enhances the themes of the novel and movie. I'll probably read this this summer when I am looking for a good book with some actual point to the text! I love the feeling after reading a book that really inspires a new perspective, as it seems this book has done for you. Great post, Bailey! 

Comment by Nina McLernon on May 8, 2012 at 7:01pm

Hi! I have both read the book and watched the movie for "The Lucky One" I loved the book! When I first started the book, I also thought it would be about people my age and I admit that I was a little skeptical when I found out the characters were adults. But I stuck with it, and found that I really enjoyed it. I just couldn't put it down! I saw the movie last week and I agree that the book was much better. I agree that they should have put the part in the beginning of the story with Thibualt and Keith. It was disappointing for someone who had read the book beforehand. However, I think that for someone who hasn't read the book, they might enjoy the movie better. You had a great post!

Comment by Alex Kippenbrock on May 8, 2012 at 9:44pm

I have not read The Lucky One, and I don't plan to.  However, I can connect on reading a great book, and the movie being awful.  I imagine that you had the same feeling about this book as i had when watching The Series of Unfortunate Events the movie.  I read all the books and loved them all.  When the movie came out I thought it would be great.  Unfortunately, when the movie tried combining the first three books into one movie.  I did like your blog.  Good paragraphs, and I read the whole thing.  Keep up the work!

Comment by Simone Corpora on May 8, 2012 at 10:08pm
I have been dying to see this movie! Honestly though after reading your blog it sounds like I should read the book instead. I don't think I've read a Nicholas Sparks book that I didn't absolutely love. I don't really see the problem with the story bring based on adults, but I agree that in 8th grade it would have been a struggle to read. I hate how movies leave out important details of the story, but I guess that's why it's only based on the book. I wasn't sure if I would be as into this story line of this story as other Nicholas Sparks books, but I enjoy the idea of "everything happens for a reason". I'm a strong believer in fate and I feel like this book would be right up my ally. Did you like this story as much as other Nicholas Sparks books? Great post, I want to go read the book right now!
Comment by Laurel Stewart on May 9, 2012 at 10:52am

I haven't read The Lucky One, but I thought about seeing the movie because it looks like something I could get into even if it's sappy and I love most things by Nicholas Sparks. You've definitely changed my mind though. I'm not a huge Zac Efron fan and if the movie isn't great, it isn't worth the watch. It's disappointing that the left the whole theme of the book out. I love the idea of fate and I believe everything happens for a reason.

Comment by Jack Bryant on May 9, 2012 at 11:01am

I really liked your title, it was clever and witty! But anyway I understand how it is to not like a movie based on a book you have already read. A lot of people really liked the Hunger Games, but i didn't think it did the book complete justice. It sounds like you really enjoyed the book and i highly enjoyed reading your blog!

Comment by Arielle Jackson on May 9, 2012 at 2:23pm

Hi! Im Arielle from CCHS! I have been wanting to see this movie for quite awhile, but after reading your post I think that reading the book will benefit me way more. You did a great job introducing and explaining  the book and story line. I sometimes try to go see movies before i read their books. I find that it is never the same, only because i know whats going to happen.  I truly love books where fate is a huge factor in the characters lives. This book seems perfect for that story. Anyway, you did a great job! Keep up the good work!


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