We Totally Forgot About These Nicholas Sparks Movies

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Nicholas Sparks churns out schmaltzy sob-fests like it’s his job. Actually, seeing as he is a romance novelist, that is quite literally his job. Eleven of the author’s titles have been adapted for the big screen, beginning with 1999’s Message in a Bottle. But for many of us, our first encounter with the cornball king’s misty-eyed melodramas was A Walk to Remember in 2002. And the peak of our infatuation was The Notebook in 2004.

Though the Ryan Gosling-Rachel McAdams vehicle made over $115 million at the box office, its impact is best measured not in dollar signs, but in soggy tissues and young hearts set aflame.

This week, plans to turn The Notebook into a TV show were threatened when news broke that Sparks’ production company is shuttering. But the series is moving forward at Warner Bros. with Sparks as executive producer. Phew! Yet the announcement has us wondering whether we'll see many more silver-screen tearjerkers from Sparks in the future.

So we’re looking back on Sparks’ career — gazing upon it like a perfect sunset in a longing, lovelorn kind of way — and ranking his flicks in a very special way. See, you can’t rate Nicholas Sparks titles like any old film — you’ve got to appreciate and judge them for what they are: clichéd sap-fests starring really good-looking people. So here are the best and the worst of Sparks adaptations. We graded the male love interests by how they stack up to Ryan Gosling as Noah in The Notebook, obviously. Oh…and we rated the movies with cheeses instead of stars. Because we’re corny like that.
1 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Message in a Bottle (1999)

Beautiful People: Robin Wright & Kevin Costner

Cliché
Count:
Love letters
Small beach town
Dead spouse
Death of a lover
Post-death revelations

Gosling Factor:
Let’s just say the casting of male leads in Nicholas Sparks movies has come a long, long way.
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2 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
A Walk to Remember (2002)

Beautiful People: Mandy Moore & Shane West

Cliché Count:
Terminal illness
Estranged father-son relationship
Bad boy falls for preacher's daughter
Bucket list fulfillment
Death of a lover

Gosling Factor: Well, we almost renamed it the West factor, TBH.
3 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of New Line Cinemas.
The Notebook (2004)

Beautiful People:
Rachel McAdams & Ryan Gosling

Cliché Count:
Small beach town
Love letters
Soldier overseas
Engaged to someone else
Epic rain make-out
Terminal illness

Gosling Factor: The OG scores 100%, obviously.
4 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Nights in Rodanthe (2008)

Beautiful People:
Richard Gere & Diane Lane

Cliché Count:
Small beach town
Estranged father-son relationship
Evil ex
Love letters
Long-distance longing
Death of lover

Gosling Factor: Gere's type-A surgeon is a silver fox, but lacks freewheeling spontaneity.
5 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
The Last Song (2010)

Beautiful People:
Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth

Cliché Count:
Small beach town
Estranged father-daughter relationship
Terminal illness
Death of dad

Fist fight over the girl

Gosling Factor:
Hemsworth scores with his boyish good looks and impressive biceps, but as a romantic interest he is severely lacking in emotional maturity and suaveness. (But considering he and Miley are soul mates IRL now, we’ll cut him some slack.)
6 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Screen Gems.
Dear John (2010)

Beautiful People:
Channing Tatum & Amanda Seyfreid

Cliché Count:
Small beach town
Soldier overseas
Love letters
Death of dad
Married to someone else
Terminal illness
Death of spouse

Gosling Factor: Tatum's body: very expressive. Tatum's face: not so much.
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7 of 11
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The Lucky One (2012)

Beautiful People: Taylor Schilling & Zac Efron

Cliché Count:
Soldier overseas
Beautiful female stranger = guardian angel
Death of brother
Evil ex
Death of evil ex

Gosling Factor: Efron’s U.S. Marine vet comes off a little, well, stalkery. But his sentimentality makes him a tough soldier who’s also a mushy softie. What more could a girl ask for?
8 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Relativity Media.
Safe Haven (2013)

Beautiful People: Julianne Hough & Josh Duhamel

Cliché Count:

Evil ex
Woman on the run
Small beach town
Dead spouse
Ghost of dead spouse

Death of bad guy

Gosling Factor:
Duhamel is no Gosling in the personality department, and we all know it. But he nails the small-town widowed father-of-two act.
9 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Relativity Media.
The Best of Me (2014)

Beautiful People: Michelle Monaghan & James Marsden

Cliché Count:

Estranged high school sweethearts
Estranged father-son relationship
Death of dad
Married to someone else
Terminal illness
Emergency heart transplant
Death of a spouse
After-death revelations

Gosling Factor:
Props to Marsden and his charm and his selflessness even in death. The boy's a brown-haired Gosling.
10 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
The Longest Ride (2015)

Beautiful People:
Scott Eastwood & Britt Robertson

Cliché Count:
Tragic accident
Love letters
Country boy falls for city girl

Gosling Factor: Noah Calhoun he is not, but watching Clint Eastwood's son ride bulls will do something for you.
11 of 11
Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate
The Choice (2016)

Beautiful People:
Teresa Palmer & Benjamin Walker

Cliché Count:
Small beach town
Married to someone else
Tragic accident
Long-term coma

Gosling Factor: Hardly existent. Just pitiful, Walker.
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