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.