The latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation hits theaters this weekend. It's called "Safe Haven," though there appears to be no such respite for those of us being continually bludgeoned by the popular author's version of romance. In fairness to Sparks, he's only directly contributed to one of the screenplays that have been adapted from his books: "The Last Song," which turned out great! More often, his novels have been adapted by an ever-changing roulette wheel of screenwriters who clearly all wanted a crack at Sparks' mercilessly cheesy brand of romance.
Here are but a few of the problems with the Nicholas Sparks School of Storytelling, proof he has nothing but disdain for true fans of love.
All Love is Started from Tragedy
Explanation: No one has ever met in anything other than awful situations. In the world of Nicholas Sparks, a love connection is always coming off the rebound from a domestic abuse situation or untimely death. Likewise, such romances invariably precipitate leukemia, Alzheimer's, or - you guessed it - an untimely death. There's simply no way for people to meet that doesn't involve a gruesome backstory or lead to crushing disaster, as love is merely a bridge between horrors . So look out for Sparks next book, entitled "The Lucky John Walk," about a former streetwalker who is abandoned by her new love and forced to put her kid into an orphanage until her man comes to his senses while the orphanage is being burnt to the ground. And then? Time for a love scene!
The Love Scenes are a Nightmare
Explanation: They always involve water and a melodramatic, overly expository song. There's always laughing, for some reason, immediately followed by a sensual hunger. Hungry laughing, frolicking, water, piano music aaaaaaand you've got yourself a love scene. Still, a love shared between two living people is better than Sparks' next big go-to method.
Dead spouses galore
Explanation: Nicholas Sparks has a diabolical need to pull at your heartstrings. And if he can't do it with clever dialogue and proper plots he'll just go head and kill people. If you listen closely you can hear Sparks out there on the wind, screaming, "Cry, you bastards, CRY!"
In Sparks-World, men and women must have nothing in common to find "true" love.
Explanation: The communication is so poor here, so forced, that you can't help but hope these people stay the hell away from each other going forward. It's not to be however, because - just like in fifth grade - you've got to actively get under someone's skin to get their attention. Positive attention? Negative attention? Who cares? Crippling tantrums of problem solving methods are somehow framed as a great character attribute. Even if you have to kick things, it will eventually lead to everlasting love.
Unfortunately, the caliber of actor involved makes no difference to how these scenes play out, because you can't put an Indy car out in the desert and expect it to be fast.
So our final reason Nicholas Sparks hates us all?
Even good actors get crushed.
Explanation: Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling, Amanda Seyfried, Paul Newman, Channing Tatum, Miley Cyrus. Okay, not that last one, but you get the point. A high caliber of actors has been attracted to the Sparks adaptations (because money), but they've all ended up the worse for wear. No one gets out of a melodrama unscathed, so let this be a lesson to Sparks' future acting victims. Run. Run for your lives.
There you have it, five scenes that show off just what Nicholas Sparks has in store for us going forward. It's a world where men and women hate each other, where they are always soaking wet, where they generally were either married to someone dead, know a dead relative of their main love interest, or will soon become fully dead themselves. Isn't it romantic?