Sunday Lists: Nicholas Sparks Adaptations Best to Worst

Its Valentine’s Marathon season here so it makes sense to do a romantic themed list post. A few years ago I reviewed the Nicholas Sparks adaptation films and then proceeded in the next few years catching up as the newer films wer released and now I have watched all of them so it seems like a good idea to rank them from best to worst.

I know these films are pretty formulaic and get hates on a lot but somehow the romantic in me who used to read Nicholas Sparks novels has a rather higher tolerance than most for these films. With that said, here are my rankings from best to worst!

1. A Walk to Remember (review)

a walk to remember

A Walk to Remember is hands down the best Nicholas Sparks novel that I read and then the movie delivered with the believable roles by Mandy Moore and Shane West. Its sweet and cute and so very heartfelt and for all those reasons, this movie is great and surpasses what any of the other adaptations were able to achieve.

2. The Longest Ride (review)

The longest ride

Call this a bit of a bias. The Longest Ride gets a lot of points for having these two leads. Brit Robertson and Scott Eastwood are two incredible actors and with that said, I thought that their chemistry is fantastic here and the story with the rodeo and everything fits well together here. I was invested into their romance and it ticked all the boxes I liked to see in a romance.

3. The Best of Me (review)

the best of me

I’m going to be honest that this choice and the next is fairly neck to neck. The Best of Me scores a little higher very much thanks to how they decided to structure the story here. Plus Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden is really nice to watch here. The chemistry works with the parallel of the older and young couple here and it just works pretty well.

4. The Choice (review)

the choice

The Choice falls into the 4th spot. To be honest, I actually enjoy rewatching this one quite a bit. Some factors here is that it has nice ending in comparison to the different varying bittersweet endings in the other movies. There are a great many scenes that I love about this one that is a lot of fun to watch mostly because there are some funny moments here and mixed in with some nice romantic ones. The supporting characters and the side stories here also work well here. There are some frustrating moments but my main issue on why this falls short from the previous one because of the final section which felt forced to be longer. Perhaps I am missing the point but it just didn’t work too well for me.

5. The Notebook (review)

the notebook

For many people, The Notebook is a phenomenal and possibly the adaptation that works the best for Nicholas Sparks adaptations. However, its never been particularly outstanding to me. The only story I love the most is the elderly couple and the ending which is very memorable. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are very good. Its no doubt that The Notebook is well done and very romantic and for that it gets into the top 5.

6. Message in a Bottle (review)

message in a bottle

The first Nicholas Sparks adaptation, Message in a Bottle falls in the 7th spot. My deal with this one is that while it is a pretty good romantic story however also shows off the nature of how Sparks stories are generally structured. Its really a decent one and the main credit goes to Kevin Costner and Robin Wright but then theres always been something that holds me back from going back to watch this one.

7. Safe Haven (review)

As we start heading out of the Top 5, Safe Haven just misses because its chemistry works great and lots of elements work however, as great as Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel works here and theres more than enough cheesy romantic lines to go around, the secret works well enough as the danger element but the twist element here just feels so incredibly out of the blue that is too random for myself and works less and less every time I think about it.

8. Dear John (review)

And then we get to Dear John. Channing Tatum back when this was released was in this cookie cutter roles and for that, I made fun of it so much. While I get the story here and I like the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. The book worked so much better than this adaptation and because of that, it was disappointing and plus, not a big fan of this ending.

9. The Lucky One (review)

I like Taylor Schilling okay from Orange is the New Black (less and less with every season) and Zac Efron is okay as well in my book. And because of that, I remember liking The Lucky One but remember absolutely nothing about this film except maybe some dog training backplot. For its forgettable story, its bagged a lower spot.

10. Nights in Rodanthe (review)

nights in rodanthe

And then we start hitting the last two. Nights of Rodanthe honestly is just not my cup of tea. I have no problem with Diane Lane or Richard Gere. With what they have, its charming to watch but this movie is just fairly boring. It is as simple as that.

11. The Last Song (review)

the last song

The Last Song is the worst of the Nicholas Sparks adaptations. It really has to do with the young cast here that I didn’t enjoy. I liked the father daughter story here more than the romance and the latter has a lot of focus.

Thats it for this best to worst list! How would your rankings be different from mine?

4 thoughts on “Sunday Lists: Nicholas Sparks Adaptations Best to Worst

  1. Ah…someone else who doesn’t mind Nicholas Sparks. My top two are the same as yours…A Walk to Remember is really beautiful. My third would be Safe Haven. Thereafter they are about the same, except that I have a weak spot of The Lucky One, so I’d put that near the top of the rest.
    In terms of the books…the rankings are very different although A Walk to Remember is still number 1 but then See Me comes in almost tied in first spot. Followed by The Last Ride.

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  2. I agree with The Last Song. That’s my least favorite too. Maybe because ….this was the only novel that Nicholas wrote intended for a movie. He was commissioned by Disney to write a story to be turned into a film having Miley Cyrus as a star. While writing The Last Song he had to consider character fit for Miley.

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