Have you seen Don McKellar?

The Best of Nicholas Sparks

Who can resist a good love story? Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back – so simple, yet so satisfying. The challenge of being a lifelong romance connoisseur like myself is that it often means weeding through the countless cheesy-to-the-point-of-cringing romantic comedies that so often fill theatre screens. This is why I always go straight to the master of all love stories – Mr. Nicholas Sparks.

Like him or not, it’s hard to deny that he hasn’t been a key player in both romantic novels and films for the past decade. He continually tugs on our heartstrings with stories of love, loss, and most of all, hope.

Fans have been lucky enough to see many of his stories come to life on the big screen, with eight film adaptations to date. Turning a novel into a movie don’t always do the story justice, but I must say, Sparks rarely disappoints. Take leading men like Channing Tatum, Zac Efron or Liam Hemsworth, gorgeous New England backdrops and the occasional epic kiss in the rain, and you get every hopeless romantic’s dream come true.

In honour of Nicholas’ upcoming theatre release, The Best of Me, let’s revisit some of his most memorable on-screen love stories:

1.  A Walk to Remember (2002)
If you were a teen in the early 2000’s, you probably remember this gem. Starring Shane West as Landon Carter, the local troublemaker who ran with the popular crowd, and a fresh-faced Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan, the innocent preacher’s daughter. The unlikely pair were the ultimate High School Sweethearts. Sparks writes a simple and touching tale of first love and keeping the faith when tragedy strikes. I dare you to make it to the end without shedding a tear.


The Notebook (2004)
An iconic modern day romance, The Notebook is a must-see for anyone who believes that love conquers all. Even 10 years after its release, the casting of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as Allie and Noah is nothing short of perfection. The pair embody the infatuation of first love, and the strength of true love. While this sentimental tearjerker may be a little much for some, the clever dialogue, beautiful film score and breathtaking 1950’s Charleston backdrop are sure to please even the most cynical.


Safe Haven (2013)
Unlike Sparks’ other films, it’s not the romance that holds this film together, it’s the suspenseful plotline, making the movie more of a thriller than a love story. The risk pays off though, and it’s an entertaining change from Spark’s ‘softer’ films. Featuring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, it tells the story of a young woman who is escaping her past and finds herself in the small town of Southport, North Carolina. She struggles to open herself to new love while hiding some dark secrets. A great date-night pick that shows Sparks’ versatility as a writer.


Sparks’ writing is no doubt idealist, but provides a pleasant escape from the 140-character, Tinder world we live in.

Kate White

Kate White works in PR in Toronto. She has a weakness for classic film and loves a good meet-cute. If you let her pick the movie, it will be When Harry Met Sally, every time.