Sparksnotes: Nicholas Sparks Made Easy

Cheers to the wags at for their crack deconstruction of the tropes of novelist Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, The Last Song) and for giving home cooks the master recipe for stirring up one of Sparks' romantic potboilers that arrive ready for movie adaptation. To paraphrase: Take two pretty white people, add obstacle that makes their love hard to consummate, fold in disaster that jerks tears, bake for one hour and 40 minutes, count your blessings and the cash. As Roger Ebert so astutely wrote in his recent review of Dear John Sparks films tend to be about young lovers who fail to find romantic success because they are trapped in an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Why is Sparks, that Kaiser of Kleenex, such an adaptation magnet? To paraphrase my review of The Last Song, his stories are a godsend for young actresses transitioning from teenage to adult roles. Mandy Moore did Sparks in A Walk to Remember, Rachel McAdam's in The Notebook, Amanda Seyfried in Dear John and Miley Cyrus in The Last Song.

For me, Sparks movies are a most effective trigger for cognitive dissonance. I inevitably cringe at the story and cry with sympathy for the characters. You? Are there other novelists or screenwriters that strike similar Sparks?

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