As I returned home from this film to write this review I walked into my kitchen poured a glass of wine, red for my heart, and started to reflect on this story about love, friends and family. People tend to meet in the oddest ways but I feel for some reasons there are reasons why we meet the people we do. I shared a moment with my producer Lexi yesterday at her baby shower and I couldn’t help but think about the love I share for her and Mike and how happy I am for them and their soon to be born son Carson. They have grown to be a part of my life for whatever reasons the universe has chosen and I will be forever grateful. Some people come and go yet some stay, some may be good for your life yet some may be here to teach you lessons, some may be the right person yet some may not be, either way people come and go, sometimes stay for whatever reasons but the ones that do stay they stay for a reason and that is because it was meant to be.
Gabby Holland (Teresa Palmer) is a young aspiring doctor from Charleston, South Carolina who recently moved into a beach home with her Golden Retriever Molly in Wilmington, North Carolina. She works at the local hospital with her boyfriend Dr. Ryan McCarthy (Tom Welling) and seems to be a favorite to many of the patients and staff. Gabby happens to live next to a very loud and obnoxious lady’s man, Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker) and his dog Moby. Travis is a one chair man that sits in his yard, drinks beer, plays loud music and stares at the stars and moon into the late night. Gabby first meets Travis over an argument about his actions and that of his dog Moby and at that moment you can tell there was a bit of a spark between the two. A bit later we discover that Travis is also in the medical field at a veterinary practice he shares with his father Shep (Tom Wilkinson) but it’s not until a local carnival that Travis gets to meet Ryan for the first time which at this same time Gabby gets introduced to Monica (Alexandra Daddario) and of course a little friction ensues.
Gabby and Travis start to develop a friendship, if that’s what you want to call it. We all know that these friends will soon have benefits which of course they do. Gabby’s true companion Molly is pregnant, Stephanie Parker (Maggie Grace), Travis’s sister gives her thoughts on the situation that has taken over her brother and during one steamy night friends become lovers. Ryan becomes lost in Gabby’s mind that is until he returns home from a medical trip. Not soon thereafter all three in this triangle of love, hurt and lies come together under one roof. Travis and Gabby had a wonderful few weeks together and what was once one chair had become two, what was once friendship for one has become love but for the other uncertainty. When faced with reality and under personal pressure to face her own demons Gabby knows she must tell the truth. Life won’t wait for anyone, it will pass you by if you let it, so it is always best to speak from your heart and reveal your true feelings. Sometimes the ones that bother you the most are the ones that mean the most and for Gabby and Travis that is the case. Years go by, a family grows and after one rainy night in the Carolinas choices are made, opinions are given and decisions are made.
When my mother laid in a hospital bed for 30 days in a coma I kept asking the question, why? Her body was tired and it showed the ware of time. She lived on machines and I felt helpless and alone. There was nothing I could do but sit by her side and talk to her wondering if she could hear me, pray for her, want to breathe for her knowing that she could not do it on her own. But choices are made, opinions are given and decisions are made sometimes they may work out for what you want and feel is best but sometimes it is the universe that makes the decision for you, either way there will always be the stars and moon. I once said when you feel sad or alone look at the stars and moon and know that I will always share them with you the one I love the one that has come and gone.
Yes this film is a total “chick flick” but well worth the emotions it will bring out of your core being whether you believe in the meaning behind the story or not. Having such closeness myself to this story I could not help but feel the emotions involved in it. The story is extremely well written and beautifully directed with a few minor dislikes but not near enough to take away from the emotional context of this story. Some wonderful cinematography and a beautiful score only help to make this film worth seeing in the theater and if you are a big Nicholas Sparks fan you will know why.
The cast was for the most part in my book a bit unknown but truthfully I tend to like that more sometimes since it helps to get more involved in the story line especially when they do some wonderful character development which of course Sparks does. Palmer is a treasure and you can’t help but fall in love with her even though she makes some choices that affect some people in bad ways yet others in good ways. People in life make choices that may seem good for them but bad for you and if that is the case they were choices that were not yours so throughout the pain there will someday be acceptance and time to move forward. Walker I have to admit at first I was not happy with the casting choice but he tends to grow on you in a very real way unlike a well-known actor might have not done so. Grace and Daddario both have smaller roles and play them well but I was a little uncertain why the casting agents chose two girls so similar in appearance, at times it got a bit confusing. Wilkinson is always spot on and Welling was good for the amount of screen time he was given. I must say though that many of my favorite actors were of course the dogs, puppies and other pets that are shown throughout this story. It was great to show our animal friends in such a loving, caring and meaningful way that will make you fall in love at first sight.