Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Safe Haven and The Great Gatsby--The Books and The Films

I saw Safe Haven the other day and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. I know it got terrible reviews, but I really liked it. While many critics scoffed at the plot twist, I found it endearing. It's not a family movie, but I think it's a sweet chick flick and I'm never opposed to seeing a Nicholas Sparks film (even though I've never seen Nights in Rodanthe or The Lucky One).

I'm the kind of person that can't get memorable movies, songs, or books out of my head. Sometimes a whole movie will play in my head while I'm doing the dishes or some other boring chore.

Anyway, the other thing that I can't get out of my mind is The Great Gatsby preview that came on before Safe Haven. I feel so weird about it. We all read The Great Gatsby in high school, right? It's one of "the classics." It's well written, full of deep symbolism, and has timeless characters--but it's also really, really SAD.

It reminds me of some of the other novels I read in high school like 1984, Lord Of The Flies, and The Grapes of Wrath. They're amazing, but they also made me feel depressed (and to be clear I am not bashing these books at all, I understand their importance). It just confirms my opinion that Hollywood can make anything look current, beautiful, and fun.

Another thing that made me feel strange about the preview was the music. It featured songs from Kanye West, Jay Z, Florence + the machines, and an edgy cover of Happy Together. I like Florence + the machines, but I had a hard time meshing current trendy music with such a classic, somber story.

Earlier this year in the Halloween episode of Pretty Little Liars, Aria, one of the main characters, dressed up like Daisy from The Great Gatsby. Her friend Hannah asked, "from the movie?" and I thought that was such a strange line. But now I understand it. With Leonardo Dicaprio starring as Gatsby in previews that show characters dancing in glittery costumes to music from Kanye and Jay Z, teenagers are getting a very different view of the story than I ever did. It will be interesting to see what kind of feedback it gets after its release date in March.

Both of these movies are based off of books, so I'm curious to see what you thought. Did you read or see Safe Haven? How do you feel about the new film adaption of The Great Gatsby?


  1. I still need to see and read Safe Haven!! I am so excited for The Great Gatsby! Loved the book and Leo will be great in it.

    Love the blog.

  2. I don't know how I got through high school and an English program without reading The Great Gatsby, but I did. What's weird is that it was regularly brought up in my classes, but I must have just missed it somehow. I'm going to read it this year though. I'm excited for the movie anyway.

    I haven't read Nicholas Sparks, but I've been thinking of checking him out. What book of his would you recommend?