Is it still possible to be a hopeless romantic in a world that has become so cynical? This might be a question we ask ourselves from time to time when we feel as if we lost all faith in humanity. Fortunately, we have romantic movies to come home and curl up to whenever we have one of those off days. These anxiety-reducing and heart-fluttering films are somehow able to make us believe in love and happily ever after once again. One of the bestselling authors who has had his novels adapted into numerous box office films is Nicholas Sparks. The beauty in his writing lies in the truth of his storytelling. Sparks is able to draw inspiration from real-life experiences, and has successfully brought these unforgettable experiences into the big screen time and again. Here are five Nicholas Sparks film adaptations that show us the different faces of love:
5. A Walk to Remember
The coming-of-age romantic drama centers around the young but impactful romance of Jamie Sullivan, portrayed by Mandy Moore (This Is Us) and Landon Carter, portrayed by Shane West (Nikita). The two are from different worlds, with Jaime being the religious good girl, while Landon is the self-centered bad boy who is always looking for a good time. The film teaches us about giving others the benefit of the doubt, and believing in the power of second chances. It was not love at first sight, or even second sight, for Jamie and Landon. The two characters were polar opposites, who ended up complementing each other as time went by. At the end of it all, their love for each other grew strong enough to withstand all the curveballs and challenges thrown their way. As Landon said, “But our love is like the wind. I can’t see it, but I can feel it.”
4. Nights in Rodanthe
It’s not every day that we get to witness a middle-aged love story. The romantic drama follows the lives of Adrienne Willis, portrayed by Diane Lane (Under the Tuscan Sun), a woman who was undergoing major marital problems, and Paul Flanner, portrayed by Richard Gere (Pretty Woman), a surgeon who is on a weekend trip. Adrienne and Paul’s paths cross in a bed-and-breakfast in Rodanthe, in which Paul was checking in to, and where Adrienne was helping her friend look after. The two form a bond after helping each other survive a big storm that rocks the whole of Rodanthe. They were two flawed people going through some troubled times in their lives, who met at the right place in time. The film teaches us that love knows no age or boundaries, and how we can meet our soulmate in the most unexpected circumstances.
3. The Longest Ride
The Neo Western romantic drama revolves around the star-crossed love affair of professional bull rider, Luke Collins, portrayed by Scott Eastwood (Pacific Rim: Uprising) and art student, Sophia Danko, portrayed by Britt Robertson (The First Time). They meet a time in their lives where they are pursuing conflicting career paths. Luke is trying to make a rodeo circuit comeback, while Sophia is about to take on her dream job in New York City. The film shows us that you don’t necessarily have to give up your dreams for love. There may be trade-offs to every decision you make, but the right kind of love can stand the test of distance and time. The two lovers figure it out in the end, by drawing inspiration from other couples who have also made it work despite of the difficulties and major life decisions.
2. The Notebook
The blockbuster film tells the timeless love story of Noah Calhoun, portrayed by Ryan Gosling (La La Land) and Allie Hamilton, portrayed by Rachel McAdams (Spotlight). The two leads first meet when Allie and her family spend the summer in the town where Noah lives. They eventually fall in love with each other, and spend a blissful summer together. Things get complicated when Allie’s family finds out about them, and disapproves of Noah who comes from a different walk of life compared to them. Noah and Allie end up living separate lives, and take on different paths. They may have moved on one way or another, but the heart always remember. They cross paths again after a couple of years, and rekindle their forbidden romance. The film shows us how fate and destiny can bring two people together at the right time in their lives, and how the power of love can go against all odds.
1. The Lucky One
The romantic drama is about a US Marine named Logan Thibault, portrayed by Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman), who finds a photograph of a young women while on a mission in Iraq. He considers it a good luck charm that has helped him survived the war. He is later able to track down the woman, a single mom named Beth Green, portrayed by Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black), and begins a relationship with her. One thing leads to another, and skeletons in the closet are slowly revealed. It turns out that there is more to the story than just a random photograph of Beth that Logan discovered. This puts their relationship to the test, and makes them realize the importance of trust and honesty. The film teaches us that our past does not define us. It’s a journey of love, acceptance, and about how we can be blessed with the opportunity to start anew.
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