Which Nicholas Sparks Movie Is Most Nicholas Sparks-y? Let's Investigate

Even if you haven’t read Nicholas Sparks’ 2013 novel  The Longest Ride , you probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the upcoming feature film adaptation. That’s because all movies based on a Sparks book march to the beat of a shared drum. They embrace the same tone, the same ideals, and even a lot of the same plot points.

By nature of being a Nicholas Sparks picture, The Longest Ride guarantees at least some of the following elements: tragic diseases, love triangles, passionate rain kisses, a B-plot involving carpentry, and a setting in the Carolinas. And that’s just naming a few.

Looking back through the past 16 years of Sparks novel-based movies, we find quite a bundle of go-to concepts. From the first movie derived from one of his novels, 1999’s Message in a Bottle, to 2014’s The Best of Me, the filmography makes no bones about its devotion to the tried and true traditions that always seem to get audiences misty. Even some of the more “on-the-nose” ones.

Check out this checklist of reliable Sparkisms and all the films that uphold each one. Which film do you think will wind up proving itself the Sparksiest movie to date?

The Carolinas

Message in a BottleA Walk to RememberThe NotebookNights in RodantheDear JohnSafe HavenThe Best of Me

Carpentry or manual labor

Message in a BottleThe NotebookThe Last SongThe Lucky OneThe Best of Me

Disease or disorder

A Walk to RememberThe NotebookDear JohnThe Best of Me

Love triangles

The NotebookNights in RodantheDear JohnThe Best of Me

Flashbacks

The NotebookNights in RodantheDear JohnThe Best of Me

War

The NotebookDear JohnThe Lucky One

Hospitalization of a secondary character

A Walk to RememberThe NotebookDear John

Strained parent/child relationship

A Walk to RememberNights in RodantheThe Last SongThe Best of Me

Volunteer or nonprofit work

Dear JohnThe Last SongThe Best of Me

Death of a main character’s spouse

Message in a BottleDear JohnSafe Haven

Death of a main character’s family member

Message in a BottleA Walk to RememberThe Last SongThe Lucky OneThe Best of Me

Death of a main character

A Walk to RememberThe NotebookNights in RodantheThe Best of Me

Storms

Message in a BottleThe NotebookNights in RodantheThe Lucky One

Handwritten letters

Message in a BottleThe NotebookNights in RodantheDear JohnSafe HavenThe Best of Me

Boats

All of 'em. So many boats in these movies.

A character who turns out to be the freakin' ghost of somebody's dead wife

Safe Haven

So, Which Is the Sparksiest movie of all...

As if there was any doubt: The Notebook wins, with 11 of these Sparks-y elements to its name. The Best of Me is a close second, with 10, followed by Dear John with 9.

Images: 20th Century Fox; Relativity Media; Warner Bros; New Line Cinema; Screen Gems; Disney