Florists are getting ready. The grocery store shelves are stocked with chocolates. And anti-Valentine’s parties are already in the works. If you find yourself just wanting to sit on the couch with a chick flick this Valentine’s Day, then Nicholas Sparks is your guy. Trust me, I’ve seen all of his books-turned-movies. Some good, some bad, but all perfect if you’re in the mood for something romantic.
Nicholas Sparks has managed to turn the majority of his novels into blockbuster movies; all with the right doses of sappiness, happy endings and hunky male leads.
Message In a Bottle (1999) - The book was the first of Nicholas Sparks’ that I read and I bawled my eyes out. The movie was only ‘eh’ and starred Kevin Costner and Robin Wright. The plot is just as the title suggests: a woman finds a message in a bottle and is determined to find who belongs such poetic words. For those who have read the book, but never saw the movie - a disappointment awaits.
A Walk to Remember (2002) - You can’t have been home on a Saturday afternoon and not seen this movie starring former pop star Mandy Moore while flipping through the channels. It’s a sweet story about a preacher’s daughter who falls in love with the high school’s bad boy (Shane West) and ends in a way that only Sparks knows how to give it to us: death.
The Notebook (2004) - The movie that made every girl fall in love with Ryan Gosling. If you haven’t see this romantic “classic” also starring the beautiful Rachel McAdams, you’re missing out. A summer love story about a guy and a girl from two different societal worlds who have one passionate, grand love. James Marsden also co-stars: double dose of good looks.
Nights In Rodanthe (2008) - Despite my love for both Richard Gere and Diane Lane there was hardly any chemistry between the actors in this story based on two hurt souls looking for a second chance at love. You watch it wanting to look, but then feel like you were cheated when it ends.
The Last Song (2010) - This is the movie that made me fall in love with Liam Hemsworth. If you can manage to get past the odd faces that Miley Cyrus makes throughout, this is actually a touching movie about young love, but also about the bond of family.
Dear John (2010) - Here the Sparks-based books ups the ante with leading men and puts Channing Tatum into the sensitive, but strong male lead. John is in the Army and gets deployed right as he meets the girl of his dreams (Amanda Seyfried). Can the distance between them stand the test of time?
The Lucky One (2012) - Hello, grown up Zac Efron! He plays a Marine who goes on a search for a woman he found in a picture during his tour in Iraq. Eye candy is what makes this movie. The chemistry and acting are only sub par.
And, if you don’t want to have a mini-marathon for Valentine’s you can look forward to Sparks’ latest: “Safe Haven” which so appropriately debuts on February 14th. This one stars the hunky Josh Duhamel and cutesy Julianne Hough. Grab your popcorn, candy and get set for this movie for your Valentine’s date.