Nicholas Sparks has had an amazing career that I'm sure many writers dream about. All of his books have been on the New York Times bestseller list, and now the eighth adaptation of his beloved novels is in theaters. In November of 2012, The Hollywood Reporter named Sparks in spot number 3 as one of Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors. Stephen King, of course, took the number one spot.
Here are the films based on books by Nicholas Sparks in order of theatrical release:
1. Message in a Bottle (February 12, 1999) - stars Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, and Paul Newman. Grieving widower Garret Blake builds boats for a living. Rebuilding his life-that's another matter. But that's before Theresa Osborne comes to his North Carolina village. Theresa, a lonely divorcee and researcher for the Chicago Tribune, knows that Garret is the author of the message she found inside a bottle on a Cape Code beach. And she knows the message spoke to her in away that profoundly touched her heart. Kevin Costner as Garret and Robin Wright Penn as Theresa bring high-voltage starpower to Message in a Bottle, a tale of love lost and found based on Nicholas Sparks' bestseller and directed by Luis Mandoki (White Palace, When a Man Loves a Woman). "You choose-the paste or the future. Pick one and stick with it," Garret's spry father Dodge (Paul Newman) advises. The advice sticks.
Although The Notebook was published before Message, the film rights were picked up first for Message in a Bottle. The Notebook wouldn't be released until five years later.
~~~2. A Walk to Remember (January 25, 2002) - stars Shane West and Mandy Moore. Set in a small town during the 1950s, A Walk to Remember is the story of an only son of a wealthy family that finds true love with the most unexpected person. The daughter of a minister (Mandy Moore) meets the only son (Shane West) and the story takes us through hard times, love and bitter sweet passion. This great love story shows us that it all comes down to who is by your side and who is willing to stand up for love even when it seems impossible.
~~~3. The Notebook (June 25, 2004) - stars Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands. As teenagers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) being a whirlwind courtship that soon blossoms into tender intimacy. The young couple is quickly separated by Allie's upper-class parents who insist that Noah isn't right for her. Several years pass and, when they meet again, their passion is rekindled, forcing Allie to choose between her soulmate and class order. This beautiful tale has a particularly special meaning to an older gentleman (James Garner) who regularly reads the timeless love story to his aging companion (Gena Rowlands).
~~~4. Nights in Rodanthe (September 26, 2008) - stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Richard Gere is Paul, a surgeon who long ago unwittingly traded family for career. Diane Lane is Adrienne, a devoted mother trying to move on after her husband's infidelity and struggling with his desire to return to their marriage. At a remote inn on the Outer Banks, both separately expect to do some serious soul-searching. But an approaching storm forces each turn to the other for strength, setting the stage for a life-resonating romance.
~~~5. Dear John (February 5, 2010) - stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfriend. Directed by Lasse Halström and based on the novel by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, Dear John tells the story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by Johns increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas--correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
~~~6. The Last Song (March 31, 2010) - stars Greg Kinnear, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, and Bobby Coleman. The Last Song is set in a small Southern beach town where an estranged father (Greg Kinnear) gets a chance to spend the summer with his reluctant teenaged daughter (Miley Cyrus), who’d rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common—music—in a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along with first loves and second chances.
~~~7. The Lucky One (April 12, 2012) - stars Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, and Blythe Danner. U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.
~~~8. Safe Haven (February 14, 2013) - stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
Sparks' latest novel, The Longest Ride, is slated to hit shelves on September 24th, and Deadline.com has reported the news that Fox 2000 has acquired the film rights, with a scheduled 2015 Valentine's Day weekend release.
I've seen numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and one of my bookish goals for the year was to read the book before seeing the film. Either a.) I need to get reading, b.) not see any movies, or c.) cheat. I'll keep you posted as to how this one goes :)
Talk to you soon,