Let me start by saying, that the over-arching themes were there: family, first love, tragedy and what do you do when you at the one left behind. But there was something lacking in this movie adaptation. Yes, there were difference from the book to the movie. I feel like that wasn't the problem. This movie had so much emotional potential, but I found myself with wet eyes that never actually formed tears.
I cried with the first book and I mean cried . . . like hard. My review above mentions me having to control myself while on the train. But there was no controlling myself with the movie. I felt like those emotional punches that the book had was lost in the film and I have one theory as to why. Instead of my infamous lists of changes, I'm going to focus on my theory. Which is this: Adam is everywhere.
I get why they focused on the first love theme of the story. My review above is pretty much about that nostalgic feeling I got from reading about Mia and Adam's journey. But when the family dies and Mia realizes she has a choice to make, the ramification of that is just so overwhelming in the book, you feel it in your chest. You saw first-hand the bond this family had: from Mia's over-protectiveness of her brother Teddy which starts at Teddy's birth and Mia being the first person baby Teddy sees when he opens his eyes, to how her grandfather actually loved his sons’ lyrics and her grandmother believed in angels that looked over you. There is a lot about Mia's life you see before Adam came into the picture. Unfortunately, you don't see that in the movie. So when her family dies, and she mourns them, you're left wondering why you should care. You never got to see why they meant so much to her. All you see is Adam or Adam with the family.
Even in those small glimpses of family time without Adam, what are they talking about: Adam. It was like nothing else mattered now that Adam was around. And I get it. It's like that with teenage love, all you can think about is that other person, all you want to be with is that other person. But this book was great, in that it didn't only focus on him. It focused on all love: familiar, friendship and romantic. I just wished the movie did the same.
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