Author Nicholas Sparks has hit it big in Hollywood ever since his best-selling novel The Notebook was made into a successful film in 2004. Two of his other books, Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember, had previously been filmed, but The Notebook really helped cue movie audiences in to the Nicholas Sparks style of romantic drama. That was followed by the 2008 adaptation of Nights in Rodanthe, and this year’s The Last Song.
That style has also continued with this year’s movie version of Sparks’ Dear John. It’s a romantic drama about a soldier (Channing Tatum) who falls in love with a college student (Amanda Seyfried) while home on leave. Naturally, the course of true love does not run smoothly — although they plan to be together after his overseas tour is completed in a year, the events of 9/11/2001 test their love when he reenlists.
Producer Marty Bowen was given the manuscript of Sparks’ novel even before it was published, and “found myself completely touched by it,” according to the producer. “Sparks has a way of writing that allows you to get lost in this world, these characters, and the beautiful Carolina environment he paints. And there were certain twists in the story that I just wasn’t expecting.”
According to star Tatum, “Nicholas Sparks’ work is very beautiful. But this story also had an edge to it that some of the other books didn’t have.”
Film-going romantics won’t have to wait long, either, for more Sparks movie adaptations. Two films based on his novels are currently in development — True Believer, slated for 2011, and The Lucky One, scheduled for 2012.
“Dear John” is now showing on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
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