A scene from "The Best of Me," which is one of many tragic love movies written by Nicholas Sparks. (Source: Getty Images)
A scene from “The Best of Me,” which is one of many tragic romance movies based on the work of author Nicholas Sparks. All of Sparks’ books and movies contain the same two themes: love and tragedy.  (Source: Getty Images)

Nicholas Sparks is the author of many romance novels that have been turned into extremely successful films.

“The Best of Me,” set to be released on Oct. 17, will be Sparks’ ninth novel that has been turned into a movie. I’ve watched every one of Sparks’ movies, and I’ve noticed that they all  have similar themes.

All of Sparks’ novels have the simple, but also complex, theme of love. Tragedy also seems to play a big part. Like it’s predecessors, the trailer of “The Best of Me” appears to have the same kind of ideals.

The film is about a pair of high school sweethearts who reunite after many years and end up rekindling their love. Just like in all of Nicholas Sparks’ films, love is not simple. They end up having to face the events that separated them in the first place.

If you haven’t read the book, whether their love can be rekindled is a mystery. Looking back at all of Sparks’ other films, the couple will either live happily ever after, or something will get in the way and they won’t.

Sparks’ first novel-inspired movie was “Message in a Bottle,” released in 1999. It was about a woman who finds a bottle on the shore with a love letter inside. The woman becomes determined to find the man who wrote it. Once she finds him, they end up falling in love. Not much of a shocker there. The tragic part is when the man dies. “Message in a Bottle” paved the way for the rest of Sparks’ tragic love stories.

One of Sparks’ most popular films was “The Notebook”, released in 2004, and is, quite frankly, my favorite. I can’t help but fall in love with Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, every time I watch it.

Nicholas Sparks is the man behind the love and tragedy inspired films such as "The Notebook", "Message in a Bottle" and most recently "The Best of Me." (Source: Getty Images)
Nicholas Sparks is the man behind tragic romances, such as “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle” and most recently, “The Best of Me.” (Source: Getty Images)

Their love story is full of passion, but sadly comes to an end when real life comes into play. Throughout most of the movie, the timeline alternates between when Noah and Allie were young and in love, and when they are older and Allie has Alzheimer’s.

The tragedy in their story is very heartbreaking. Noah does whatever he can to help Allie get her memory back, but she doesn’t get it back until right before they die while lying down together. It’s definitely a tear-jerker. Nonetheless it has the same themes of love and tragedy.

Out of all of Spark’s films, there have only been a couple with more tragedy than romance. “Dear John,” released in 2010, would be one of them.

It is about a man named John who falls in love with a girl named Savanna when he comes home on leave from the army. Their romance seems to be going perfectly, until John gets called up for duty. They stay in touch by  writing one another, but that stops when Savanna ends up marrying an older man and John doesn’t find out until he comes home. Like any other person, John isn’t too happy about it.

The movie ends with John and Savanna running into each other and ending up talking in a diner, which provides absolutely no closure. You don’t know if they stay friends, or if they become something more. Their love seems full of tragedy, though I guess there is also a little hope at the end.

It doesn’t matter which Nicholas Sparks film you are watching, they all address the same ideas of love and tragedy. It also doesn’t matter if there is more love or tragedy in one or the other, because at the end you will be sobbing like a baby. Sparks’ formula continues to draw in crowds of romance enthusiasts and will continue this trend in “The Best of Me.”

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