Ok, so for the actual review:
Guys, as evidenced by TFiOS, If I Stay, Divergent, and umm.. nearly every other book-turned-movie, I get SO EXCITED to see how producers/directors/actors will take my beloved characters and put them into real life form.
I wasn’t that excited about this movie.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved the book. Seriously. I just really didn’t think they could capture it in movie form. And sadly, I think I was right.
For anyone who read this novel, you know there are two distinct parts. There is the Cheryl’s-life-pre-hiking and Cheryl’s-life-during-hiking. While the book moves between both worlds pretty seamlessly, the movie… didn’t.
Maybe it was my fault for expecting too much. The parts that I was most looking forward to were the scenes with the guys she met, the books she read, the animals she encountered WHILE HIKING. Unfortunately, the movie cut out most of the friends that Cheryl made along the way. Those friends that helped highlight that she was a person worth rooting for. The movie was much MUCH more focused on her past life — the Cheryl that no one was rooting for. And that was really their mistake.
They didn’t show her evolution as a human, and they didn’t show her getting better and stronger. No one wants to root for the Cheryl who did drugs, cheated on her husband, and basically failed at being the woman her mother knew she should be. The part of the book that I related to most was the part of her coming from the depths of her life and rising above to become someone she was proud of.
The movie, unfortunately, used the hike as a backdrop to show Cheryl’s fall from grace in her past life. And it never pulled her back up to the person we could cheer for.
Overall, I’d say if you loved the book, you could skip the movie. And if you haven’t read the book, well… Read it and skip the movie.