(Written for Filmoria)
In anticipation for the upcoming adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, we’ve decided to take a look at five of the most romantic moments in the film versions of his work so far.
Directed by George Tillman Jr., with screenplay by Craig Bolotin, The Longest Ride is an adaptation of Sparks’ 17th romance novel of the same name, which was originally published in 2013. The film, set to be released on 19th June, stars Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood in the leads, and follows a young couple who witness a car crash involving an older man, whose lives intertwine as he reflects back on a past love.
Most of us will know how a Sparks story plays out, and there’s always a death or some sort of tragedy that gets in the way of a cheesy yet heart-warming story of true love. But we can’t help but break down every time. I’m sure this latest adaptation will be no different, so to celebrate Sparks’ latest story hitting the big screens, here are my top five romantic moments in his work so far:
5. The Last Song
“You’re not like the other girls.”
Miley Cyrus just makes her way into my top five with this scene from The Last Song. Here with her once-upon-a-time real-life boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, we come to a point in the film where Ronnie (Cyrus) begins to put her trust in Will (Hemsworth).
The first of Sparks’ films to be written as a film before a novel, in a rush to get Cyrus on our cinema screens, The Last Song follows a rebellious girl who is sent to spend the summer with her father. This father-daughter relationship is a much better one than the leading romance itself, but Cyrus and Hemsworth – unsurprisingly – have a great chemistry.
4. The Lucky One
“You belong here, with us.”
I very nearly chose this scene as my most romantic, but then I decided that a sex scene in the shower isn’t what most would class as ‘romance’. So, instead, I’ve gone for this final scene of The Lucky One, in which Beth (Taylor Schilling) chases after Logan (Zac Efron) in slow-motion under the setting sun, and asks him to stay.
The Lucky One sees a U.S. Marine travel to Louisiana after serving three tours in Iraq in search for a woman whom he believes was his good luck charm during the war.
There are quite a few romantic moments in The Lucky One, but what’s best about this film is that, with a dark background story, it holds up well in comparison to other Sparks’ adaptations due to having one of the most well-written screenplays. It’s also the film where we get to see Zac Efron become a man in the world of acting, as that shower scene may just make you forget about High School Musical for a few minutes.
3. Dear John
“Just hearing your voice would have made me change my mind.”
This pick may stand out as an odd choice for many, since it’s not romantic in terms of the two leads actually being together and falling into a compelling embrace, and there’s a lot of shouting which doesn’t quite make sense… But this scenes sees John (Channing Tatum) demand for an explanation from Savannah (Amanda Seyfried), many years after their break-up.
Dear John sees a soldier who falls for a conservative college student while he’s home on leave. It’s a romance full of awkward dialogue and a mumbling Tatum, but the final half of the film, in which the leads are so many years older, steps up a notch as it finds some maturity. It’s not one of the most likeable relationships in Sparks’ collection, but it certainly has its moments.
2. A Walk To Remember
“I might kiss you.” / “I might be bad at it.”
Narrowly missing the top spot is the first – welcomed – kiss between Landon and Jamie, A Walk To Remember is probably the Nicholas Sparks film that has aged the worse since its release in 2004. It’s a film that I can watch over and over again, but even I will cringe at certain qualities and become annoyed by the way that Mandy Moore pronounces her words. But with every watch, I only cry even more times. And as cheesy as Moore and Shane West are as a couple, their relationship is one of the saddest.
This story follows two North Carolina teenagers, Landon and Jamie, who are complete opposites, but who are thrown together after Landon gets into trouble and is made to do community service.
As my most romantic moment, I was torn between this kiss scene and the actual first kiss during the drama performance after Moore sings ‘Only Hope’, but I just love the dialogue at this point. It’s also where we start to notice hints of something not quite feeling right, which builds up to one heart-breaking finale.
1. The Notebook
“It wasn’t over. It still isn’t over!”
I think there will be no surprise to see that The Notebook and this infamous scene in the rain is at my #1 spot. I could watch this clip for hours, not only because Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are both beautiful to watch (and are top class actors anyway), but because the exquisite score really makes this film so powerfully emotion. It’s a film that most girls will watch on a regular basis, but also one that boyfriends will have been forced to watch and admit to enjoying when no one is around.
The Notebook follows a poor and passionate young man who falls in love with a rich young woman, but who are soon separated by their social differences.
Nicholas Sparks films do tend to have many similarities, but The Notebook undoubtedly stands out in terms of romance, emotion, acting, character development, and plot. So don’t be thinking “Not another one!” when The Longest Ride is released next week, because you may just find yourself proven wrong. Everybody has their favourite, so let’s see if The Longest Ride will knock this one from off the top of my list.