(born December 31, 1965) is the screenwriter behind the films The Last Song
, The Lucky One
, Dear John
, Nights In Rodanthe
, The Note Book
, Message in a Bottle
, and A Walk to Remember
, Safe Haven
, most recently, The Best Of Me
, and coming in April 2015, The Longest Ride
. He reportedly began writing during his first year of college at Notre Dame after a track injury and a long recovery. He took a string of jobs from waiter, real estate appraiser, telemarketer, orthopedic manufacturer, and pharmaceutical sales
. Finally in 1994 he tried one last time and produced The Notebook
which launched him to fame.
He makes distinctions about his work and insists that he screenwrites love stories, not romance; drama, not melodrama
. And that's why, he said, he dominates the genre.
Cracked.com mocks what they call The Nicholas Sparks Formula
. In order to produce a Nicholas Sparks romance, take 2 pretty white people note
+ an obstacle that makes love between them seem impossible + love in spite of circumstances + a completely-out-of-left-field, exploitative, awful disaster that only serves to jerk tears and turn an otherwise forgettable romance into a tragedy + the poster designer whose favorite picture is a man holding a woman's face in the rain... Then count your money.
Tropes about the screenwriter:
- Creator Provincialism: Most of his works are set in North Carolina.
- Downer Ending: What a ridiculously abundant amount of his books end up having, and in the rare instance that they don't the ending of True Believer, then the follow-up book will.
- Interclass Romance: Most of his works have this, frequently as the aforementioned "obstacle to love"
- Monochrome Casting: As cited above by the Cracked article. The number of minority characters in his books/movies can be counted on one hand.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Several of his works—The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe, The Best Of Me, etc.—have the protagonist cheating on their significant other, but this is always justified by the unhappiness of the previous relationship and/or the true love of the new (sometimes rekindled) one.