By Laura Jayne Martin
The Lucky One opens this week. This is novelist Nicholas Sparks’ seventh film adaptation after: Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, and The Last Song. The best way to celebrate this lucky number seven is by wondering what would the whole world look like through Nicholas Sparks’s eyes? Here are ten big films re-imagined as Nicholas Sparks’ adaptations. Let this show you why Nicholas Sparks is to film what sugar is to coffee—that has already been sweetened. (It helps if you play You Found Me by The Fray while reading these.)
The Bourne Identity
Jason has been floating through life. He feels like he doesn’t know who he is anymore. Then he meets Marie and he starts to put the pieces of his life back together. It feels like literally everyone is against them. Somehow though, they make it work and end up opening their own scooter rental shop in the Greek islands.
The Lion King
Nala and Simba are a mismatch from the start. They are competitive and bicker about everything, yet for some reason they’re always together. When a terrible tragedy rips them apart, it seems as though all is lost. Fate steps in, monkeying around to bring them back into each other’s lives. Nala is thrilled and Simba tries not to worry and to be happy. However, he is haunted by the loss of his father, and isn’t certain that things can ever work out between them. In the end, his love for Nala convinces him to face his demons and overcome his old scar.
Michael thinks his chance at love is over. He’s just not a very emotionally available guy. He’s never had much luck with the ladies; he always just ends up hurting them. By chance, he runs into Laurie Strode; Michael wonders if she’ll see the real him, the one behind the mask. At first, Laurie, a total Goody Two-shoes, is scared by Michael’s intimidating persona. She avoids him at all costs, including by hiding in a closet. Despite this, Michael breaks down her walls and they are finally together. As is often the case with young love, their moment is fleeting. Laurie ends things with Michael, and for him it feels exactly like a knife is stabbing him in the chest. This bittersweet story reminds us that while young love is fleeting—one never knows when it might come back.
40 Year-old Virgin
There’s a hole in Andy’s life that he is desperate to fill. At first he pretends like there is nothing wrong, but it gets hard very quickly. Andy realizes he is fooling himself, and his pain feels like someone tearing the hair right off of his skin. His friends try to help him, but nothing seems to work until he meets Trish. Things are great at first, but Andy struggles to let go of his past; it’s as if he’s keeping his former loves enshrined in air-tight containers on a shelf. Andy’s reluctance to give up his old playthings pushes Trish away. Then, after a terrible bicycle accident, Trish nurses Andy back to health. They get married and Andy finally feels fulfilled.