This weekend brings us “The Lucky One,” the latest adaptation of famed romantic drama novelist Nicholas Sparks.
Zac Efron ("17 Again," "Charlie St. Cloud") stars alongside Taylor Schilling (TV's "Mercy") and Blythe Danner ("Meet the Parents" franchise) in this drama directed by Academy Award-nominated writer/director Scott Hicks ("Shine," "No Reservations").
The film follows U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) after his return 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. He locates the woman in question, Beth (Schilling) and shows up at her door 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.
In honor of the release of “The Lucky One” we look at the top 5 critically rated Nicolas Sparks films.
5. “A Walk To Remember” (2002)
This film introduced the world to pop singer Mandy Moore’s abilities as a thespian. A classic tale of young love and redemption “A Walk To Remember” is a tissue-box-at-the-ready teen romance.
Synopsis: The best-seller by novelist Nicholas Sparks becomes this teen melodrama set in a coastal North Carolina port. Cocky, popular high school student Landon Carter (Shane West) is the big man on campus at Beaufort High School until a hazing incident leaves a fellow student paralyzed. Sentenced to community service and membership in his school's drama club, Landon is forced to seek help from Jamie Sullivan (pop singer Mandy Moore), the conservative, religious, plain-Jane daughter of the town's Baptist minister (Peter Coyote). When the two students begin to fall in love, Landon struggles with the drop in popularity that his new friendship brings, while Jamie is forced to deal with her strict father and a secret that she's keeping from her schoolmates. “A Walk to Remember,” which co-stars Daryl Hannah, is the second of Sparks's novels to make it to the big screen after Message in a Bottle (1999).
4. “Dear John” (2010)
Giving a whole new meaning to the “Dear John” letter this offering illustrates the power of love to keep one going, even at a very great distance.
Synopsis: Director Lasse Hallström and screenwriter Jamie Linden collaborate to adapt author Nicholas Sparks' novel about a young soldier who falls for an idealistic college girl. Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) was on spring break when she first met John Tyree (Channing Tatum), who was home on temporary leave. For the smitten soldier it was practically love at first sight. Over the course of the next seven years, when each deployment seemed more treacherous than the last, the love letters that Savannah sent to John were one of the only things that kept him going. However, those loving and heartfelt correspondences would ultimately yield consequences that neither the brave soldier nor his one true love could have ever foreseen.
3. “Message In A Bottle” (1999)
The first of the Sparks novels to make its way to the big screen, “Message In A Bottle” fully explores the notion that “it is better to have loved and lost.”
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, “Message In A Bottle” stars Robin Wright Penn as Theresa Osborne, a writer for the Chicago Tribune. While her son visits her cheating ex-husband, Theresa goes on a vacation by herself. One day, while running on the beach, she finds a bottle washed up on the shore. She opens it and inside finds a love letter unlike any she's ever read. Captivated by the author's words of love, she returns to her job at the Tribune where she convinces her boss to run an article about the mystery writer, known only as "G." He approves, and Theresa begins her hunt. Scrutinizing every physical detail of the letter and the path the bottle may have taken, she eventually locates Garret Blake (Kevin Costner), a North Carolina boat-restorer who has not been the same since the tragic death of his beloved wife Catherine. Since her death, Garret has written several letters to his dead wife, put them in a bottles, and let them loose in the sea. As Theresa spends time with Garret, she quickly falls in love with him, though she neglects to tell him she knows about the letters. Garret, prodded by his cantankerous, no-nonsense dad, Dodge (Paul Newman), emerges from his shell of grief and develops an interest in Theresa as well. Theresa returns to Chicago and Garret soon visits her; he meets her son, Jason (Jesse James), but also discovers her knowledge of the letters. Eventually the two, who have both lost love, must cast off their emotional baggage and decide if they will pursue love even if it can't always last.
2. “Nights in Rodanthe” (2008)
Love comes in all forms and from often unexpected sources. “Nights in Rodanthe” follows the tale of two people who desperately need each other at a particular moment in their lives to reconcile themselves with who they are and what they really want.
Synopsis: Adapted from author Nicholas Sparks' popular romance novel, director George C. Wolfe's “Nights in Rodanthe” tells the tale of a doctor (Richard Gere) en route to reconcile with his estranged son when his benevolent mission is sidelined upon checking into a North Carolina beach-town inn. When the doctor arrives at the inn, he enters into a passionate affair with an unhappily married woman (Diane Lane) who is currently considering divorce.
1. “The Notebook” (2004)
Perhaps the most popular of the Sparks novels “The Notebook” is an epic, heartbreaking tale of the lasting power of one’s first, and true, love.
Synopsis: Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. The Notebook also features Joan Allen, Sam Shepard, and Kevin Connolly.
A haunting tale of a man who clings to a singular vision in order to survive “The Lucky One” is sure to wrench at your heartstrings just as all of Spark’s tales of love lost and found again do.
Take a look at the trailer for the film below:
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
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