Nicholas Sparks Movies: A rundown of the good, the bad and the downright cheesy


I hope you guys enjoyed my double posting yesterday – HINT: I accidentally scheduled both posts for Tuesday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday, and I realized this at work. Sometimes I really do wonder if I’m as smart as my mom thinks I am…

To continue our nice cheese venture we will today take a look at the Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations I’ve seen.  Of the nine movie adaptions Sparks produced I’ve seen seven, which you can see listed below. The other two are Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe is definitely something I’ll find the time to watch and then come tell you all about it.

When you willingly choose to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie, you can know for a fact that it will be unbelievable, inconceivable and utterly romantic. Nicholas Sparks is Disney for grownups – the male lead is sensitive and wants you to love him eternally and the woman is damn lucky to find him wandering on her little stretch of Southern American road. There will be villains but mostly there will be love and adventure and lots of smooch time.

Still, I can watch most of these movies and have fun while doing it. It sets you on an emotional high and even though it creates a false idea in your head permanently that men are like that, you still feel pretty happy afterwards (the depression sets in when Spark’s kills someone, and he loves killing, that man)

Nic Sparks movies watched, ranked from best to worst:

The Notebook (2004)

A Walk To Remember (2002)

The Lucky One (2012)

Dear John (2010)

Safe Haven (2013)

The Last Song (2010)

Best of Me (2014)

Female Leads

First Place: Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton

Allie Hamilton

Rachel McAdams has always been the epitome of class to me. Even from her days as skanky Regina George, McAdams made sure you notice her and it wasn’t surprising to anyone that she became the most successful of the Mean Girls clan. McAdams plays a darling Southern girl perfectly and even though she is hampered by the time she grows up in Allie Hamilton still gets her say in things and she is determined.

Second Place: Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan

Jamie Sullivan

A Walk to Remember went down when Mandy Moore was still relevant, and I’m surprised this didn’t take her even further into fame. She manages to be the sweet, innocent and sincere Jamie without being too sugary and that is a mean feat to achieve. She also worked really well with Shane West, and they complement each other well enough so that you end up sobbing for them. I really do enjoy A Walk to Remember – it is a book and a movie where Nicholas Sparks was still original and had fresh ideas, and you couldn’t predict what would happen.


Third Place: Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Curtis


Amanda Seyfried probably ranks as one of my favorite young female actresses. I love her unique looks and her acting ability. She always seems so sweet and pure and that made her perfect as Savannah. I don’t think she has a lot of chemistry with Channing Tatum but they made a good pair onscreen and I also really liked Savannah’s character – she put others above her own needs and cared for the people in her life.

Honorable mention: Miley Cyrus as Ronnie Miller

I used to adore Miley Cyrus. Really, I know she grated on everybody’s nerves long before she grated against Robin Thicke, but I’ve always liked her voice. She wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a good actress in the The Last Song, but it was pretty much the last time we all understood Miley Cyrus. I also really liked her and Hemsworth together (reunite now, lovebirds!)

Male Leads: Deliciousness always


To land a spot as the main man in a Nicholas Sparks movie, there are two main requirements:

One: Be so hot you are one of the main culprits in a sudden increase in global warming

Two: Have the ability to look pained/pensive/heroic with extra benefits if you can do all these at once.

That said, most actors in these adaptions have done a very good job and they are all fine actors. I think some of them like Channing Tatum and Zac Efron (Especially Efron) are still proving themselves in Hollywood and romantic movies is a good way to get noticed #MatthewMcConaughey

First Place: Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun


My favorite actor in this set of movies is definitely Ryan Gosling: I love the man, I loved Noah in the books and how Gosling represented Noah in the adaption. Gosling himself is three hundred percent charm and can act exceptionally well. The Chemistry between the main characters is another topic but the intense attraction between Gosling and McAdams also contribute greatly to the success of both their roles.

Second Place: Shane West as Landon Carter


Shane West has the perfect face and personality to be the angry teenager with a chip on his shoulder. He worked as Landon Carter as few others could have and he brought the change that took place in Landon after he met Jamie to the table authentically. He had very decent character development – Landon was a spoiled rich kid that found something more rewarding to live for than getting in trouble all the time.

Third Place: James Marsden as Dawson Cole

James marsden BOM

I had a truckload of issues with this movie, but James Marsden as the leading man in Best of Me was a good choice, even if he had no chemistry with Michelle Monaghan. Marsden is cute as hell, he can act, he has gorgeous blue eyes and he is a perfect mix of defiance and sweetness in his portrayal of Cole.

Honorable mention: Zac Efron as Logan Thibault

Logan 1

For the sake of full disclosure, I’m admitting I just wanted him on here because he’s so gorgeous. That, and he really did the sad, hardworking ex-marine thing well (go talk to Zoë about that obsession of mine)

logan dog

Yes, It’s Zac Efron holding a dog. You’re welcome!

Death of a Central Character:


George Martin

Suzanne Collins

Veronica Roth

JK Rowling

Nicholas Sparks

In this epic battle Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins would square off, but I think Collins would win as the most psycho writer because we loved Finnick WAY more than we loved Tris, right? Then as our next set of contenders we would have George Martin killing Nicholas Sparks without mercy (beheading, of course) while JK Rowling would not even notice them and keep writing in her castle, smugly, because she killed Dumbledore, Mad-Eye, Hedwig, Dobby, Lupin, Tonks, Fred, Sirius and Snape within a book and a half.

My point here is that Sparks sure loves killing people off but it is usually after they’ve gotten some bits of happiness in. The impact is also less because his books are singular entries and not a continuing series, so your attachment, book or movie-wise is not gut wrenching forever.

The title for the saddest Nicholas Sparks movie is shared by The Notebook and A Walk To Remember. You can still argue that A Walk To Remember is worst, because Noah and Allie end up together for a few decades before they both die whereas Jamie dies on Landon a few months after they fall in love.

Book Vs Movie

book vs movie

But will I rewatch?

Best of Me (2014): No. It’s mediocre at best and there are far better alternatives if you want some cheesy romance.

Safe Haven (2013): Maybe – It’s not horrid but it’s not the best movie either

The Lucky One (2012): It has Zac Efron in, I definitely will

The Last Song (2010):  Hmmm, maybe.

The Notebook (2004): You mean apart from the other ten times I’ve rewatched? Then yes.

Dear John (2010): Hmmm, maybe.

A Walk to Remember (2002): Definitely. Nothing better than a good cry 😀

Hope you enjoyed this enormous post! Let me know what your opinions are about the movies you’ve seen on this list!

Book Review: The Last Song (Nicholas Sparks)

The Last Songs

“The pieces all fit together. Yet everything was falling apart.”

Times read: Four times

Ronnie and her brother Joshua travel up to the coast to go visit their father, Steve, the man that abandoned their family three years ago, for the summer. She is extremely unhappy about it all, especially with her mother who is making her go. At seventeen, Ronnie is rebellious and argumentative about everything, and wears a streak of purple in her hair mainly to annoy her mother. Despite being constantly contradictory she still isn’t the bad kid she pretends to be – she is always kind to her ten year old brother and any strangers who need help, have good manners when needs be and never smokes and drink like many of her friends.

Immediately after arriving Ronnie heads to the beach without speaking to Steve. At the beach there is a volleyball game going on and one of the players, Will, accidentally runs into her and spills her soda all over Ronnie. Fuming, she storms away and meets Galadriel, a strange girl who calls herself Blaze. Blaze is dating Marcus, a sociopathic teenager with an affection for pyrotechnics. Together they hold fire-throwing shows illegally on the beach. Ronnie and Blaze immediately have a rapport between them, and Blaze shares how her parents are divorced as well and constantly dating. Ronnie tells Blaze about her troubles in New York, particularly her shoplifting escapades, which she did for fun until she was caught a second time and nearly got into big trouble. Marcus, who is cruel and likes being ugly to his very insecure girlfriend, begins to flirt with Ronnie. Ronniehowever is a true friend who has excellent senses when it comes to douchebags and tells him very firmly that he should leave her alone. Marcus, unable to stand her dismissal, turns it around so it seems that she was flirting with him. The next day Ronnie tries to tell Blaze what really happened but she refuses to hear anything bad about her boyfriend, and slips stolen CDs into Ronnie’s bag and Ronnie gets arrested by one of her father’s friends.

Ronnie is distraught to be caught stealing again, especially since she didn’t even try to steal the CDs. Surprisingly, her father believes her and suggest they don’t tell her mother unless it is necessary if charges are laid against her. This improves their relationship and she starts to connect with the father she has been ignoring for three years. Her brother tells her about the church window he and their father has been busy building for their Steve’schurch that had to be rebuilt after mysteriously burning down the previous summer.

Walking on the beach with her father they spot sea-turtle nests. Her father explains how endangered they are and that raccoons will probably destroy the nest before the eggs hatch. Ronnie becomes determined to save them and spends the night sleeping at the nest, protecting them. The next day she requests help from the aquarium and they send a volunteer to mark the spot so a temporary protective cage can be hatched. The volunteer is Will, and when the cage isn’t up the same day Ronnie is furious with him, sure he didn’t do his job. He insists he did and offers to spend the night protecting the nest, and they begin to understand each other and a relationship develops.

Blaze still refuses to acknowledge that she put the CDs into Ronnie’s bag and the charges against her remain. Blaze’s life is rapidly deteriorating and she moves in with Marcus when her mother kicks her out. Even though she asks for Ronnie’s forgiveness, she won’t admit to what she did because Marcus, with his ongoing grudge against Ronnie and Will, will kick her out of the house.

Will also has some problems. Accepted and forced to attend Vanderbilt when he actually wants to study environmental sciences, he feels trapped by his mother’s overbearing nature. He also knows what happened to the church – his friend Scott accidentally set it alight with a firecracker, and Marcus saw it go down. Marcus uses this important information against Will and Scott, knowing that Scott will most likely lose all chance at getting a scholarship for university if the story gets out. Will doesn’t want to split on his friend because Scott saved Will and his mother’s life when they nearly drowned, with Scott regularly reminding him of it. Will’s mother immediately dislikes Ronnie and it gets even more strained when Marcus ruins Will’s sister’s wedding and his mother blames Ronnie because Will can’t identify Marcus, in fear of Scott’s secret getting out. Megan, the bride and the only person who kept her head through the ordeal, visits Ronnie the next day and asks her to not back off from Will. Ronnie, who told Will it is over rushes to him and tells him that she is sorry.

To cap it all, Steve father reveals that he is dying of cancer. What will happen to his and Ronnie’s relationship, finally on the mend? Will Blaze be able to escape the cycle of abuse she is in and own up to her treachery? Can Will ever reveal the truth of the night the church burnt down and betray the boy who saved his life? Will Ronnie and Will survive the nightmare that surrounds them or will they only remain a summer fling?

Rating: 6/10

I had a much nastier rating planned for this but the book improved slightly as I kept on reading. I have to say that it seems Nick Sparks is writing books for movies these days. His earlier works (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, a Walk to Remember) are poignant and strong, beautiful and solidly written. His most recent books are littered with cheap, compulsive, tear-jerking tricks that I truly get irritated with. The writing style is still enjoyable but he seems to have lost focus as to what his books used to achieve.

I have issues with the male leads in his books. I get that Steve was trying to reconnect with his daughter before his death, but it is highly unrealistic that any parent would tolerate such attitude under any circumstance. It is irritating when a female is a whining-snotbag but it is utterly revolting if you read a whining-snotbag male. Will had some cute moments but overall he came through as utterly spoiled and privileged. I mean, honestly, he was complaining about having to go to Vanderbilt. If that isn’t a brat, I just don’t know what is!

Lastly, I dislike the book because it reminds me of a time when Miley Cyrus, who played Ronnie in the movie adaption, was still a pretty brown haired teenager instead of a blonde haired attention seeking desperado. I miss those days.

Have you read the book? What did you think?