We gave it a C+
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Abigail Breslin, Sofia Vassilieva
Directed by: Nick Cassavetes
Release date: June 26th
When Cassavetes received the script adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s 2004 novel, about a family struggling to save a terminally ill child, the story hit him hard. Cassavetes (The Notebook) had spent his daughter Sasha’s entire childhood in and out of hospitals, managing her congenital heart disease. (She’s now 21 and healthy.) ”I’ve been down the road of the family in this story,” he says. ”So I thought it was something I could do soberly and elegantly.” Diaz plays Sara, a mother driven to save her cancer-stricken daughter (Vassilieva), even if it means jeopardizing the health and sanity of her younger daughter (Breslin). Diaz might seem an unorthodox choice for such heavy material, but Cassavetes thought the story demanded the actress’ sunniness. ”The movie has so much going against it,” he says. ”It’s tough and occupies a moral high ground — I didn’t want to cast somebody who’d make it feel like a lecture.” Meanwhile, Picoult fans have been up in arms since word got out that Cassavetes changed the book’s shocking final twist. ”I changed The Notebook‘s ending, too,” he remarks. And moviegoers forgave him for that.