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The Lucky One: Spotlight On Nicholas Sparks

by David Agnew

Based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks, THE LUCKY ONE  is the story of Logan, played by Zac Efron, a marine sergeant who has returned from his third tour of duty in Iraq. Having stumbled upon a photograph of a young woman, Logan claims her as his lucky charm and sets out to find her.

To celebrate the release of THE LUCKY ONE on Blu-ray Triple play and DVD on August 27, we are taking a look at what makes Nicholas Sparks such a prolific writer. With seven books successfully adapted for the screen, and an eighth scheduled for release early next year, Nicholas Sparks’ tearjerkers have dominated Hollywood.

But what is it about his stories that have Hollywood Studios lining up to adapt his work?

His romantic dramas tend to follow the same formula: a loveable protagonist tormented by the past, an enduring romance and bittersweet ending that has us reaching for the tissues, no matter how many times we watch it. And yet Sparks still manages to charge each story with individual character, and even after thirteen years, his guilty pleasures are still being translated into silver screen blockbusters.

There’s the relationship between John (Channing Tatum) and Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) in Dear John and the bittersweet ending to Message in a Bottle. But the romance that sets our hearts fluttering has got to be Noah and Allie in THE NOTEBOOK.

Set against the idyllic backdrop of South Carolina, in 2004 THE NOTEBOOK told the story of Noah, a captivating young man (played adorably by Ryan Gosling) and Allie (the beautiful Rachel McAdams). The pair fall in love, but are pushed apart by her parents. Despite their fleeting romance, Noah writes to her every day, he builds her a dream house, and does everything in his will to rekindle their romance.

Arguably second to THE NOTEBOOK is one of Sparks’ earliest films. In A WALK TO REMEMBER, Shane West and Mandy Moore star as teenagers Landon and Jamie. Their relationship is a reminder that opposites do (eventually) attract. Shane is a bad boy delinquent whilst the charitable Jamie is the pastor’s daughter. Nicholas Sparks’ trademark bittersweet ending (not quite a tragedy and yet not exactly happy) leaves us struggling to hold back the tears.

At the centre of these emotionally charged stories, is the simple idea that the seemingly ordinary: rebellious teenagers and single mothers, divorcees and soldiers, can experience the extraordinary. Instead of Demigods or 17th Century gentleman, his stories are about down to earth people you’d expect (or hope in the case of Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron) to meet on your weekly trip to Tesco. And this is why Hollywood loves him.

It’s because he puts his characters into these everyday situations, that Nicholas Sparks is able to resonate universally with his audiences. And if teenage girls, spoilt heiresses, divorced women and single mothers can fall in love with caring, loving and passionate young men, then why can’t we?

Starring Zac Efron, THE LUCKY ONE, combines all of these elements, the heartbreak, the sentiment, and the passion, to create a beautiful love story that once again has us reaching for the nearest box of tissues. As his latest adaption, THE LUCKY ONE is a reminder of why Nicholas Sparks is such a prolific writer, and why year after year he has us lining up to watch his romantic features. And with Zac Efron taking over from the likes of Kevin Costner, Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum, Nicholas Sparks has us excited for his latest feature.

When it comes to romantic dramas, Sparks remains king.

THE LUCKY ONE is out on Blu-ray Triple Play and DVD on now

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