‘Along For The Ride’ Proves Netflix Is the Perfect Home for Sarah Dessen

Max Yurva

After great success in 2018 To all the boys I’ve ever loved, adapting YA novels—especially teen romances—for the small screen was a no-brainer for Netflix.In fact, streamers have been pursuing this market with original adaptations of cute girl meets boy novels, including perfect date, let it snow, all bright placesand of course, kissing booth series. So it’s no surprise that Netflix has turned to Sarah Dessen, one of the most successful young romance novelists in recent years, for new material. In fact, Desen and Netflix are a match made in heaven, and it’s surprising how long it took.

Desen has been YA Romance’s best-selling machine for over a decade, however Bon Voyage– now on Netflix – just her second film adaptation. The story, like most of Desen’s, effortlessly mixes the angst of adulthood with the addictive bliss of a first love. Auden (Emma Passaro) is a high school senior who decides to spend her final summer before college with her father in the fictional seaside town of Colby. Auden is reserved—a little cold, a little fussy—but with the help of a handsome, mysterious stranger, Eli (Belmont Camelli), she learns how to break out of her shell.

It’s all very light and sweet, with a few strands of darkness as both teens grapple with the trauma of their past. Even so, however, it’s all thoughtful and visceral. It’s a long walk on the boardwalk and a quiet date on a pie, not a loud confession in the rain or a race in an airport terminal. The only notable “scene” in the film is the firework ball on the beach.Even in the 2000s, when romantic comedies like fashion devil and proposal Doing the numbers at the box office, the story is like Bon Voyage can’t feel it at all big Big enough screen.

Good luck (2022)
Photo: EMILY V. ARAGONES/NETFLIX © 2022

Maybe that’s why it took so long for Desen’s novel to get the movie treatment again after the 2003 movie How to solve, A romantic comedy combining two of her earlier books, starring Mandy Moore. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the film wasn’t well received by critics.Film criticism back then—even more male-dominated than it is now—was at the height of its cynicism, and Desen wasn’t at all. Do cynical like she wouldn’t do big. Her book deals with the quiet, reflective aftermath of trauma, which is always overcome by the end, usually with the help of a lovely guy. There is always a kiss and there is always a happy ending. Predictable, yes, but more importantly, reliable. There’s a reason she’s got a dozen bestsellers. Readers know they’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling from her books, and she always does.

It’s exactly the kind of stress-free, upbeat love story you’d expect to see on your Netflix screen on a quiet Friday night. already, Bon Voyage Well received by critics.There’s something to be said for the expectations set by the pre-film Netflix logo – this movie won’t change your life, but it will be 90 minutes of balm from the outside world, and that’s exactly what Bon Voyage Yes.

Desen fans will be delighted to hear this and more to come if all goes well. Desen’s other two books, this lullaby and once and for allchosen by the anchor in 2019, and according to a 2021 blog post by Dessen himself, About the everlasting truth Also acquired by Netflix. It’s a match made in heaven — almost like a pair in a Sarah Desen novel.

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