A Page Turner
Life was going well for book editor Kate (Kathleen Rose Perkins - Abducted), she had just got her own apartment, her job was going well and she was dating Matt (Johnathon Schaech - Hush), a writer, that is until till he unexpectedly finishes with her. Heartbroken Kate finds Matt has left a package for her containing a journal entitled "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" and a note hoping that the journal will help her understand why he had to end their relationship. The journal is written by Dr. Suzanne Bedford (Christina Applegate - Surviving Christmas) who having collapsed at the age of 33 due to a heart condition is dumped by her boyfriend and heads for a new life in a small community as a local GP. It is there that she meets handyman Matt and before long are passionately in love....
"Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" is an adaptation of a James Patterson novel but this could have just as easily come from the pen of Nicholas Sparks, it is that sort of melodramatic romantic weepy. Now there is nothing wrong with that as these movies clearly have a market but it does mean that this is a no holds barred romantic drama which sets out to manipulate your emotions right from the word go and never lets up. And when "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" isn't trying to make you reach for the tissues it is trying to make you smile with some sweet, almost fairytale style romance.
So what we have going on in "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" is this decent movie which has two storylines at different times which interweave. On one hand we have Suzanne's story about falling in love with handsome, happy handyman and wannabee writer Matt. Now to give a bit of a spoiler, although it isn't much of one, Suzanne starts writing the Diary for Nicholas when she falls pregnant and feels a need to have something down on paper for her son so he will know his parents. At the same time whilst we watch Suzanne's romance with the happy Matt 18 months earlier we also have Kate's relationship with Matt when he shows up at her office with a book and a now sombre persona. These two really work well together and that is a surprise as this sort of thing could have ended up very disjointed. In fact it works to make it much more interesting than you expect.
But as I said "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" is a romantic weepy and so we have plenty of fairytale romantic and sickeningly cute scenes such as Matt dancing with Suzanne in a diner, a romantic walk along a beach to when Kate and Matt start becoming close as she works with him on editing his book. It is all very romantic but also very manufactured with countless big romantic moments which just don't happen in the real world. But on top of that there is also the weepy aspect which is just as unsubtle from Suzanne falling pregnant to seeing how Matt having been full of life 18 months earlier is now a sombre person. In many ways you sort of know how this is going to play out but you have to keep watching to have your feelings confirmed.
Now "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" whilst less than subtle is aided by 3 good performances. Christina Applegate, Johnathon Schaech and Kathleen Rose Perkins all embrace their characters in such a way that even the corny side of their characters ends up endearing. When Schaech pulls off a stupid dance in a diner he does so with such conviction that it makes you smile more than it makes you groan. And it is the same through out with Applegate and Perkins doing exactly the same.
What this all boils down to is that "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" is a romantic weepy from James Patterson which will be a hit for those who love the romantic movies adapted from Nicholas Sparks' novels. But anyone not in the mood to be emotionally manipulated will find this a little too unsubtle.