Nicholas Sparks has kept the flame of love burning for his millions of readers with his bestselling novels. He has authored 18 books that feature male characters which he calls “Joe Average” or “guys who build furniture, high school students, and soldiers”. Yet he makes them stand out because of how deeply they fall in love and how strongly they express their feelings thru love letters, idyllic dates, and heroic deeds. Meanwhile, the female characters usually want to appear strong when deep inside they are really vulnerable. And when these women meet their own Joe Average, attraction, passion, and love are sure to spark.
It is not surprising that film adaptations of Sparks’ novels are generally box office hits. The Notebook starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams was produced for only less than $30 million, but grossed around $115 million worldwide. Since 2004, it has remained the top-grossing Sparks movie in the US, and the most critically acclaimed. Surely, no one can forget how Noah (Gosling) and Ally’s (McAdams) love for each other defied class difference, sickness, and lasted ‘til their last breath.
In terms of worldwide earnings, Message in a Bottle, starring Robin Wright and Kevin Costner, enjoys the title of being the highest-grossing Sparks movie all over the world. Dear John, the drama-war film starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, comes next after The Notebook. Grossing at $30,468,614 in its opening weekend in February 2010, Dear John is reportedly the best debut for a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. The Lucky One, which is about a US Marine (Zac Efron) who tracks down the woman (Taylor Schilling) whose photo he has carried around like a lucky charm while fighting in Iraq, is consistent in the top 5 highest-grossing Sparks movie. Not far behind is Safe Haven, which combines suspense and romance when a newcomer (Julianne Hough) in town finds a friend and lover in a widower (Josh Duhamel), and their bond forces her to confront her darkest secrets.
A Walk To Remember (2002), Nights in Rodanthe (2008), The Last Song (2010), The Best of Me (2014), and The Longest Ride (2015) are five other titles enjoyed by moviegoers.
This February, The Choice is the 11th Sparks movie to hit the big screen. It tells the story of new neighbors Gabby Holland and Travis Shaw who start off on the wrong foot, but manage to forge a friendship eventually. Gabby is preparing to settle down with her longtime boyfriend Ryan who is a doctor, and Travis is holding on to his belief that having a girlfriend would cramp his easygoing lifestyle. But an irresistible attraction between them poses a challenge to their well-planned lives. A love triangle that stars TV and stage actor Benjamin Walker (from the Broadway play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, opposite Scarlett Johansson), Australian charmer Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), and Tom Welling (Smallville’s Clark Kent/Superman), The Choice traces the evolution of a love affair that is tested by life’s most defining events and poses the question: How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?
From Viva International Pictures and MVP Entertainment, The Choice opens in cinemas on February 17, 2016.