People Who Should Never Have Been Born: Nicholas Sparks Edition
There is no greater literary fluff trash than the work of Nicholas Sparks. Novels with ideas so trite and overused that we as emotional humans find ourselves helpless and weak when faced with his heart-wrenching stories of love and war and jesus and cancer and letters. Say what you will for trash fiction authors like James Patterson, but at least the man is peddling his stories honestly. James Patterson writes four books a month with the same themes, same characters, same twists, but he knows it. He’s not peddling it as high art. Nicholas Sparks on the other hand, uses his books as some sort of lofty platform in which to express these truly deep ideals of love and loss and tragedy and jesus.
Now I am all for “the Notebook”, actually. It was his first book, it has solid themes and an expansive story. And the movie will most definitely make you sob. Old People? Forgetting things? War? But everything that follows is nothing but drool. The Nicholas Sparks formula reads as follows:
Christian/Wholesome Girl + Bad Boy/Guy From the Wrong Side of the tracks +war -family support x Cancer (Or other debilitating disease) + letters +a diary -town support + a locket = Hollywood Gold.
It seems like there’s a new Nicholas Sparks Film every month, and for Feb and March, this is actually true. This month’s behemoth of literature is Dear John. Let’s go to the board:
Christian Girl + Boy From the Wrong Side of the Tracks + 9/11 + Letters = #1 movie in America.
I was fine with “Dear John” just fading into the ridiculous stack of movies for me to get drunk and watch, but then I found out about 9/11. The fact that this movie is a ‘period piece’, taking place on September 11th, 2001 is one of the most ludicrous things that I’ve heard. So not only is Nicholas Sparks using letters, war, torn lovers and I’m assuming some disease tug at our heart strings, but he’s gonna draw from the raw pit of emotion that is feelings about 9/11. Using Channing Tatum. Really?
Now I’ve always said that I would sell out before you even asked me to. I understand that Nicky knows he has a cash cow on his hand and is taking advantage of it. But he lost all respect for me as an author when I heard about the film “The Last Song” starring Miley Cyrus. Is this an adaptation of his book you ask? What was his inspiration? Well, no, he’s writing the book at the same time as the movie (skipping steps / time saver). But what could inspire a story about a girl who is forced to live with her dying Juilliard pianist father only to discover her love for music? Well….the answer kiddies is that Miley Cyrus wanted to be in a Nicholas Sparks movie. 15-year-old Miley saw, “A Walk to Remember (Christian Girl + Bad Boy + Cancer), and had her agent call Nicholas Sparks and ask him to write a movie for her. So he did. He really did. And thus brings us to “The Last Song”.
So if we recap, “Dear John” came out last week and in just one short month we shall be blessed with another big budget lifetime movie shoved down our throats by a 17-year-old girl with a Wal-Mart clothing line and a 21-year-old boyfriend. I just wonder when my William Faulkner movie is coming out? Why doesn’t Miley Cyrus want Proust to write her a screenplay. Or Thomas Kinkade to paint her one. Because I guess we’re living in a world where dime-quality novels and tween sensations get to dictate what stands in this country as literature, film and art.
I dare you to watch this without laughing: