This Valentine’s Day, Nicholas Sparks’s Safe Haven will be the best-selling author’s latest novel to be given a Hollywood makeover.
Having penned The Notebook and Dear John, Sparks has been responsible for a number of the biggest recent tearjerkers but which have been his best?
1. 5. The Lucky One
Fresh from his High School Musical success Zac Efron takes on a more serious role as US Marine, Logan Thibault. Against all the odds, Logan returns safely from his third Iraq tour and sets off in pursuit of the woman he believes to be his guardian angel.
Struggling with a secret which threatens everything he has come to know and love, Logan battles with his own guilt as well as individuals bent on keeping him away.
Efron demonstrates previously unseen acting maturity with the ever-impressive Blythe Danner turning in a brilliant performance as caring mother to Beth Clayton.
2. 4. Dear John
John Tyree (Channing Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) are the summer lovers divided by duty while coping with their own vastly different and difficult backgrounds.
Continuing their relationship through regular letters, the pair’s love is stretched by distance. Tatum and Seyfried deliver stellar performances as the young lovers, plucking heartstrings with reckless abandon.
However, even their undeniable on-screen chemistry and Richard Jenkins’s powerful performance as John’s father can’t outweigh an ending which feels altogether rushed and unsatisfying in stark contrast to the alternate ending which was only recorded for the DVD release.
3. 3. A Walk to Remember
Rebellious high-school student Landon Carter (Shane West) meets seemingly shy and reserved Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore). As their relationship gets closer Landon finds himself moving away from a bleak future before a shock revelation brings his new world crumbling.
Landon sets about to make the most of his blossoming relationship and builds bridges with his family before realising that Jamie saved him from a worse way of life..
Trademark Sparks doesn’t hold back as he throws emotional sucker punches left, right and centre beautifully portrayed by the strong performances of Moore and West.
4. 2. The Notebook
One of the most infamous tearjerkers of the noughties will have you reaching for the tissues as elderly ‘Duke’ (James Garner) tells the story of lovers Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams).
The pair embark on a romance from two very different worlds against the will of Allie’s meddling family with a poignant twist looming over the story.
Devastatingly beautiful with an iconic lakeside scene, The Notebook is a classic tearjerker which will no doubt be held up with Titanic and Ghost in the weepy annals of time.
5. 1. The Last Song
Here it is. The top tearjerker from Mr. Sparks’s pen. As wayward New Yorker Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Miller (Miley Cyrus) heads with her younger brother (Bobby Coleman) to her estranged father’s (Greg Kinnear) for the summer.
Having shunned her musical talent in an act of rebellion she sparks an unexpected relationship with Will Blakelee (Liam Hemsworth) which makes Ronnie welcome her stay in Wrightsville.
Although Cyrus does well at portraying a troubled and defensive teen finding her way, Kinnear steals the show with a mesmerising performance as her father, Steve.
Despite the rollercoaster ride of their relationship taking centre stage, Sparks pulls a signature surprise leading to one of the most poignant moments of Sparks’s adaptations to date which is guaranteed to dehydrate tear ducts and warm the coldest hearts.