5 Best Nicholas Sparks Movie Adaptations
Writer: Casey Chong
What's your favourite Nicholas Sparks movie?
The very name of Nicholas Sparks is synonymous to the romance genre. He is such a popular writer that most of his novels have been adapted into movies. Yes, his movie adaptations are mostly formulaic and are often heavy with cloying moments, but like it or not, his clichés do have their own niche fan base.
The author's latest novel to movie adaptation, "The Choice", sees the pairing of Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer, but that isn't even the best part, as "Smallville's" Tom Welling is also in it! The story starts off as both of our leads as next door neighbours, but things slowly start to get heated up, and not without the complications that soon arise.
In conjunction with the release of "The Choice", here's five best Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations ever made!
1. "Message In A Bottle" (1999)
Robin Wright and Kevin Costner in a scene from "Message In A Bottle".
No Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation would be complete without a mention of "Message In A Bottle". It also happens to be the first Sparks novel ever adapted for the big screen. The story however, was borderline cheesy material; a lonely divorcee (Robin Wright) finding unexpected love through a tragic love letter found in a bottle on a beach, and sets out to locate the author of the letter (Kevin Costner).
Director Luis Mandoki was no stranger to romantic dramas, having directed the Andy Garcia-Meg Ryan screen collaboration of "When A Man Loves A Woman" five years ago. Although the movie suffered from a draggy pace, "Message In A Bottle" was mostly saved by its above-average cast. Kevin Costner sure knew how to pull off a grief-stricken role, while Robin Wright and Paul Newman each delivered fine performances that helped elevate the film.
2. "A Walk To Remember" (2002)
Shane West and Mandy Moore in "A Walk To Remember".
"A Walk To Remember" was best known for the then-teen pop sensation Mandy Moore's big screen debut. Likewise, the story was pure sappy melodrama that involved a rebellious high-school kid (Shane West), who subsequently falls in love with a Reverend's innocent daughter (Mandy Moore). But as their love blossoms, it is soon revealed that one of them has a terminal disease.
Despite all the familiarity, this Adam Shankman-directed tearjerker was a surprisingly honestly-portrayed love story about two young lovers. Another surprise factor here was Mandy Moore, whose sweet yet emotionally vulnerable performance being one of the major highlights of this movie.
3. "The Notebook" (2004)
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams in "The Notebook".
Whether you are a die-hard fan or a casual moviegoer, most of you would have agreed that "The Notebook" is one of the best romantic dramas ever made. The movie was best known for Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams' unforgettable chemistry as two star-crossed lovers. The Romeo and Juliet-like tone was also both magical and epic. Plus, who could forget the passionate kiss-in-the-rain scene?
4. "Dear John" (2010)
Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in "Dear John".
This box office hit, which famously dethroned the seven-week box office reign of James Cameron's "Avatar" at the North American box office, was due to Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried's wonderful chemistry. "Dear John" may have recycled the familiar star-crossed lovers plotline, but the movie offered the kind of dynamic character development and subtle emotional core rarely seen in a Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation.
5. "Safe Haven" (2013)
Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in "Safe Haven".
A refreshing change of pace from your usual lovey-dovey Sparks romance, "Safe Haven" was given a unique mystery-thriller twist. In this movie, Julianne Hough of "Dancing With The Stars" fame, plays a mysterious woman who arrives in a sleepy North Carolina town of Southport to confront her dark past. There, she meets a widower (Josh Duhamel) and falls for him. The charismatic Duhamel and the photogenic Hough sure do light up the screen!
Cinema Online, 20 February 2016
"The Choice" is now showing in cinemas nationwide.