Happy Romances Are All Alike

The other day I watched the movie The Last Song with one of my roommates. At one point in the movie, a character named Will quotes the famous Tolstoy line from Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

This quotation sums up how I felt about the movie. I found Ronnie's tense and complex relationship with her father to be far more interesting than her cookie-cutter romance with beach god Will. It was so cookie-cutter that it even came with a bitchy blonde ex-girlfriend and rich, disapproving parents. The rich, disapproving parents worked in The Notebook, but for some reason they don't work here. The love story felt flat. I wasn't interested in Ronnie and Will; I was interested in Ronnie and her dad. Ronnie and Will were happy, despite the obligatory arguments, which felt extremely forced at times.

I'm not sure what the novel is like, but the movie felt at times like two different movies smushed together. Have you ever read any books like that? Why do you think they didn't work well?

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