As anyone who's ever spent an evening crying over The Notebook (rightfully so) knows, Nicholas Sparks is Hollywood’s go-to man when it comes to creating sentimental, swoon-worthy romantic blockbusters that are guaranteed to steal the audience's hearts. The acclaimed author has over 15 published works, nine of which have been adapted for the big screen.
The most recent Nicholas Sparks adaption, set to be released on Oct. 17, is called The Best of Me, which stars Michelle Monaghan and a tall-dark-and-handsome James Marsden (he had a leading lover role in the Notebook, so he's already a pro!). In this latest flick, Monaghan and Marsden play the grown-up versions of high school sweethearts Amanda and Dawson, whose lives collide again after 20 years of being apart (newcomers Liana Liberato and Luke Bracey play their younger, smitten selves).
Needless to say, the love story gets a bit more complicated than just two people falling for one another again and ending up with a happily-ever-after right off the bat (otherwise it wouldn’t be a Nicholas Sparks story, as we all have learned). You'll have to go see the film for yourself on the 17th if you want to know how it all turns out! With seven reasons why you'll fall in love with The Best of Me, there's probably a good chance you'll adore it!
As a tribute to the upcoming release of The Best of Me, we’ve ranked each of Nicholas Sparks's movies, so check out our definitive list of our favorite chick flicks (Oh, and try not to cry as you think back on them... or do, we won't tell)! Where will The Best of Me land on the list?! Only time will tell!
8. Nights in Rodanthe
Legendary actors Diane Lane and Richard Gere star in this flick as play two unhappy people, both with a ton of emotional baggage, who enter into a passionate relationship at an impressive beachside bed and breakfast. The film has it some good things going for it — the amazing scenery, the couple’s chemistry — but ultimately it risks teetering into melodramatic territory and falls a bit short of some of our favorite Nicholas Sparks-inspired flicks, perhaps because we’re not the right audience for it. Ask us again in a few years! For now, it goes well with a quiet night with our roommates and anything chocolate.
7. Message in a Bottle
As the first Nicholas Sparks adaption to be released in theaters, Message in a Bottle is clever and endearing. The plot is somewhat similar to that of The Lucky One in that Robin Wright’s character, Theresa, sets out to find the unknown person who has affected her life. In this case, though, it’s Kevin Costner whose letters she has discovered, not Zac Efron's (sigh). Without giving too much away, we'll just say that the surprising ending is what made us reach for the Kleenex!
6. Safe Haven
Julianne Hough and the ever-so-handsome Josh Duhamel had great chemistry in this romantic drama, but the cat-and-mouse plot line gave us a bit too much of a thrill at times (seriously, can't we all just get along?!). Katie, played by Hough, is on the run from a bad relationship and seeks solace in a quaint North Carolina town, where she meets (and eventually falls in love with) Alex, played by Duhamel. Nail-biting moments, aside, Safe Haven has more than its fair share of shining moments, like the surprising plot twist toward the end. Plus, a HIMYM star on the big screen? We're sold!
5. Dear John
Though the plot was a little formulaic, Dear John warmed our hearts with the sweet moments shared between Hollywood veterans Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum, who play long-distance lovers separated by war. The beachside town backdrop was delightful as usual, but the random curveball thrown at you midway through and the vague ending sometimes leaves us a little frustrated. Overall, the film gave us a bit of an overdose of sappiness, but sometimes that’s just what you need. Girls' Night In, anyone? Dear John is totally next on the watch list.
4. The Lucky One
Two strangers are brought together by none other than fate (a word thrown around a lot in Sparks’s novels, much to our inner romantic's joy). A man sets out to find the woman he believes saved him in Iraq, though she doesn't even know it. They meet and fall in love, and drama ensues (because where would we be without a good old-fashioned, Nicholas Sparks-worthy wrench in the plans?). Throw in an overbearing ex-husband and you’ve got The Lucky One. Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling (of Orange is the New Black fame) star in this heartfelt love story that is the perfect movie for date night. Plus, puppies. Enough said.
3. The Last Song
The Last Song was cliché, but in the best way possible. Misfit Ronnie, played by a pre-pixie cut and pre-VMAs Miley Cyrus, falls for rich southern gentleman Will, played by Australian cutie Liam Hemsworth. Hemsworth actually rose to fame thanks to the film (so really, we also owe the swoon-worthy Hunger Games love triangle to The Last Song, if you think about it). We definitely saw this flick in theaters with our besties and gave each other looks that said, “Why can’t that be us?!” when we saw adorable scenes like the one where Will and Ronnie have a mud fight or when they have a singing match while driving his truck. Oh, teenage love…
2. The Notebook
Everything is so, so right about this movie. Young, pre-fatherhood Ryan Gosling with his extra shaggy hairdo, the kissing scene in the rain, Allie’s retro red bathing suit, the ice cream on Noah's face... we could go on for a while, especially if you get us started on the 23 thoughts every girl has while watching The Notebook or on The Notebook versus reality. Rachel McAdams's and Gosling’s acting is probably among the best we’ve ever seen from a Nicholas Sparks movie (but we're expecting - dare we say it? - even better from The Best of Me!). We may go through an entire box of tissues every time we see this Romeo and Juliet-themed tale, but that won’t stop us from tuning in if it’s on TV (or from playing it all the time, since we definitely own the DVD). If you're a bird, I'm a bird!
1. A Walk to Remember
The lives of a popular boy who’s on the fast track to nowhere and a bookish girl with big dreams collide. The unlikely duo fall in love, but her big secret threatens to thwart their relationship... or does it? This is a storyline that constantly pops up in movies today, but back in 2002, it was totally fresh and totally spellbinding. What made it stand out from all the others is that we didn’t just get to witness a love story; we witnessed the growth of Landon’s character, as well as Jamie’s (plus, Mandy Moore is just amazing at life). The high school perspective of the movie made the connection to its teenage audience all the more real, and that’s why we ranked it number one. Come on, where would we be without A Walk to Remember, and almost equally importantly, its stellar soundtrack?!
If you haven't read The Best of Me yet, you're in for the surprises of a lifetime! The most important surprise waiting for all of us, those who have read the book and those who are about to? All we want to know is where we'll rank the film on this list! We have a feeling we're about to find our new favorite chick flick. With a strong cast, gripping trailer and certifiable man candy, plus the seven reasons why you'll fall in love with The Best of Me, our expectations are high!
Which is your favorite Nicholas Sparks-inspired flick, collegiettes? Check out The Best of Me when it hits theaters October 17th to fbe swept off your feet - you might find yourself a new favorite!