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Nicholas Sparks is famous for touching the hearts of readers and viewers around the world, with many of his novels being adapted for the screen. The New York Times bestselling author has sold over 115 million copies of his romantic works, with 11 of his emotional stories hitting the big screen to date. Though his writing style is undeniable and his chosen genre isn’t for everyone, those who can’t get enough of Spark’s books flock to theaters when a new book comes out, often to impressive box office results. Fans of romance and Sparks know that reading or watching his works is in for a tearful ride, with many finding a king of comfort in the captivating stories.



Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars have helmed an adaptation of Sparks, starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in his Star-Bred Romance, the beloved 2004 romantic drama The notebook. Audiences everywhere wept as Shane West’s character Landon tenderly compared his love to Mandy Moore’s Jamie with the Wind, saying he couldn’t see it but he could feel it in the 2002 hit A walk to remember. This is a ranking of every Nicholas Spark film adaptation.

11 The optional

The love drama 2016 The optional chronicles the budding romance between two very different individuals after they move next door to each other in Wilmington, North Carolina; Ultimate womanizer and veterinarian Travis Shaw falls madly in love with beautiful med student Gabby Holland, turning their lives upside down. Starring Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer as an odd couple, the melodrama received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences but was negatively received by critics, who called it formulaic and uninspiring.

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10 The best of me

After 20 years apart, high school sweethearts Dawson Cole (James Marsden) and Amanda Collier-Reynolds (Michelle Monaghan) find themselves back in their hometown following the shocking death of a beloved close friend. The two are subsequently forced to confront the circumstances that led to their parting ways two decades ago in 2014 The best of me. The emotionally driven image, which shows the once-carefree couple in both the present day and 1992 flashbacks, draws heavily on the excellent chemistry between leads Marsden and Monaghan, both of whom are the bright spots in a rather weak Nicholas Sparks adaptation are.

9 The Longest Ride

The 2015 neo-western romantic drama The Longest Ride follows the lovable relationship between professional bull rider Luke Collins and art student Sophia Danko as they find themselves at a crossroads in their romance, with Luke looking to focus on his comeback to the rodeo and Sophia preparing to take her coveted job in New York. The ambitious couple’s paths cross with an older man whose touching and enduring romance with his cherished wife makes them reflect on what really matters most. Featuring outstanding performances by Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson and Alan Alda, The Longest Ride was the first Sparks adaptation to earn an A CinemaScore since 2004 The notebook and does a pretty good job of shaking up the typical Sparks formula in a very different setting.


8th The lucky guy

After US Marine Logan Thibault (Zac Efron) discovers a photo of a stunning blonde woman during his third tour of duty in Iraq, he keeps the snap, believing she is his “guardian angel” who later goes in search of the mysterious lady when he returns home.

See also: Zac Efron’s Best Movies Since High School Musical, Ranked

Struggling with both survivor guilt and wartime PTSD, Logan makes his way to Louisiana, where he eventually meets the woman in the photo, Beth Green (Taylor Schilling); Though wary of Logan’s arrival, Beth can’t fight the growing attraction between the two. Despite lackluster reviews from critics and one of the more unrealistic Sparks stories, The lucky guywas a box office hit and grossed over $99 million, earning Efron a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Actor in a Movie and beginning the actor’s march to more serious dramatic roles.


7 The last song

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth famously fell in love while starring in the 2010 romantic coming-of-age drama The last song, in which the musician/actress portrays rebellious teen Veronica “Ronnie” Miller, a girl who is sent to live with her estranged father in Georgia and finds an unlikely romance with charming local Will Blakelee. The film was intended to help Cyrus move away from her pop persona and introduce her to a more mature audience, and she once expressed that she had “always been a fan of Nicholas Sparks” and was looking forward to a more challenging role. The last song was a hit with box office goers and helped establish Cyrus and Hemsworth as dynamic performers who served as stepping stones in each of their careers.

6 Safe haven

The 2013 romantic fantasy thriller Safe haven follows the struggles of a mysterious young woman who flees her abusive husband and finds herself in a warm and welcoming North Carolina seaside town where she hopes to start a new life. Julianna Hough stars as Katie Feldman, who is intrigued by the charming residents of Southport and widower and father Alex Wheatley (Josh Duhamel). As sparks fly between the two soulmates, Katie begins to realize that escaping her past and her terrifying husband might not be that easy after all. Variety explained this in their review Safe haven “provides an uninspiring but not unsatisfying tour of Sparkville’s recognizable terrain,” with the film being nominated for Choice Movie Romance at the Teen Choice Awards.


5 Dear John

The gorgeous Amanda Seyfried and former model Channing Tatum provide compelling performances in the 2010 romantic war drama Dear John, in which they portray soldier John and bright college student Savannah. The two fall in love while he is vacationing in Charleston, South Carolina, and the young lovers remain connected through a passionate correspondence for the next several years.

Related: Best Amanda Seyfried Movies, Ranked

The stirring image tackles some heavy subjects, including the Iraq war, the September 11 attacks and lymphoma, all of which are dissected in the couple’s enduring letters. Both Seyfried and Tatum earned credit for their performances, and Digital Spy wrote, “The more the barriers between John and Savannah build and seem to become immobile, the more you want to see them get back together – it holds.” Dear John captivating until the credits roll.” Though they’re often apart, the magnetic leads create a hard-hitting tale of unrequited love.


4 Nights in Rodanthe

In the 2008 romance drama Nights in Rodanthe, Veteran stars Richard Gere and Diane Lane shared the screen for a third time as they starred as struggling divorce and guilt-ridden surgeons who find solace and passion together as they embark on a weekend retreat at a bed and breakfast in Rodanthe spend the night. The lost couple embark on a life-changing romance during their much-needed getaway while confronting their emotionally troubled past and a storm to come together. Gere and Lane’s excellent chemistry helps to truly enhance the tear-jerking film, and for their performances the actors were nominated for the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards for Best Adult Love Story. It’s the rare Sparks tale that explores finding love in old age and makes a refreshing change.


3 message in a bottle

The 1999 romantic drama starring Hollywood greats Kevin Costner, Robin Wright and Paul Newman message in a bottle follows researcher and former reporter Theresa Osborne as she discovers a heartbreaking anonymous love letter in a bottle on a Cape Cod beach. Theresa sets out to find the author of the tragic note after the local paper publishes it, leading the woman to find the weary widower and reclusive writer Garrett Blake, with whom she falls madly in love.

Paul Newman stole the show as Garrett’s protective father, Dodge, and while the script and ending drew criticism, the film’s superb cast helped bring Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling book to life, and resonated with fans of the touching Romans. This was the first film adaptation of a Sparks novel and remains the most successful, grossing $120 million.


2 A walk to remember

Dedicated to Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle, whose cancer diagnosis inspired the novel, the 2002 coming-of-age romantic drama A walk to remember helped establish leads Mandy Moore and Shane West as certified superstars, and told the touching story of North Carolina teenagers Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter as they develop a surprising but deeply inspiring relationship. The tear-jerking drama revolves around rebellious Landon and kind-hearted Jamie, who, despite contradicting backgrounds, slowly fall madly in love; The lovely couple find their romance tested when it is revealed that Jamie has been hiding a difficult battle with leukemia.

A walk to remember was a huge hit with audiences and the general public (as was its soundtrack, which went platinum in America, sold over a million copies and actually grossed more than the film’s original budget). Moore and West were lauded for their excellent chemistry, and the film launched an entire subgenre of “dying lovers” (aka the gendered phrase “sick girl”) films.


1 The notebook

Undeniably Nicholas Sparks’ most acclaimed and critically acclaimed screen adaptation, the 2004 romance drama The notebook follows the enduring love story between heiress Allie Hamilton and mill hand Noah Calhoun, two teenagers who share a passionate and life-changing romance in a southern coastal town in the summer of 1940. The poignant image is told in both the past and present, with two separate stories unfolding; At a nursing home, an elderly man reads to a fellow patient about Noah and Allie’s conflicted love affair.

The notebook is without a doubt a triumph of the romance genre and was a hit upon its release, grossing over $117 million and developing a strong cult following. The film also helped launch the careers of its then-rising leads Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, whose steamy kiss in the rain became one of the greatest screen kisses of all time.

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