The Last Song
Written by Nicholas Sparks Directed by Julie Anne Robinson
Why the Divorce?
In the book Ronnie and her father discuss why her mom and him got a divorce. From that conversation she is left with more of an understanding of what happened. In the movie this conversation does not happen and because of it Ronnie is able to keep the harsh feelings for the situation. She still does not get why her parents split so she holds on to the emotions that she had when her father still left and continues the attitude towards her father.
In the book when Ronnie gets upset about her father's piano playing, he decides to put up a wall around the piano because he says that he will not stop playing but he doesn't want to upset her. This entire idea is not included in the movie. When Ronnie arrives she is very mad about the music in the house but Mr. Miller never does anything in protest. This makes the audience view him of more of a pushover rather than a father who stands up against his sassy teenager.
In the book the father was constantly reading his bible which added a religious aspect to the story. In the end when you look back on the father's journey you can see how he tried to centered his life around Christ and relied on God through his last years. This part of the story is not as evident in the movie because the father is not found with his bible as often and the overall story is not as focused on him.
There is a scene in the movie where Mr. Miller reaches his breaking point and yells at Ronnie. He is so fed up with her attitude and doesn't want to spend the entire summer just fighting with her. By standing up and putting Ronnie back in her place, his character is viewed as more of a parental figure rather than just a pushover. In the book Mr. Miller never yells at Ronnie and although he is more of a pushover, the audience feels worse for him because he is dying and because his daughter doesn't know she continues to put up the rebel front.
In the movie Ronnie overhears Will telling her father that his friend burnt down the church while in the book Will comes to her and confesses the secret he has been keeping. In both situations Will is being respectable because he is doing the right thing but the scene in the movie adds drama when Ronnie shockingly finds out. The main aspect that the movie adds is Will's respect for Mr. Miller by going straight to him since he was the one who had been effected most from all of the rumors.
The End of His Journey
In the book Mr. Miller dies in his sleep and in the movie he dies while sitting in his chair on the porch. This ending adds the spontaneous drama of his random last breath while sitting only a few yards from his daughter. This also gave the opportunity for the sad scene of Ronnie seeing her dad when he had been alive only a few minutes before.
Will goes over to Ronnie's house in the end of the movie and they mend the relationship talking on the beach. In the book they happen to run into each other in New York after Will transfers schools. The scene in the movie gives Will's character more of a caring personality because he reaches out to her where in the book he just saw her by chance.