Nicholas Sparks once wrote, "I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours." But that was in a book. In real life, he and his wife of 25 years have separated.
Hollywood's latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Lucky One, is out today. It is not a good movie. The flashes of weirdness—like the protagonist walking from Colorado to Louisiana and stopping in every town along the way to ask people if they know the person in a picture found during a raid in Afghanistan—are all undermined by the film's insistence of reiterating each plot point at least five times (it takes place at a kennel, so you'll quickly get bored of dog play).
Diane von Furstenberg's spent the past week on the slopes in Aspen; today she'll celebrate her 63rd birthday. Other people turning a year older on New Year's Eve: Val Kilmer is turning 50. Bebe Neuwirth is 51. Anthony Hopkins turns 73. Ben Kingsley is turning 66. Donald Trump Jr. is 32. Famed attorney Joe Flom is 86. Real estate developer Ed Minskoff is 69. Author Nicholas Sparks turns 44. Donna Summers is 61. Gong Li is turning 44. And New Kids on the Block alum Joey McIntyre is 37 as of today. A bunch of people celebrating tomorrow below.
Diane von Furstenberg turns 62 today. Donald Trump Jr. is 31. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 50. Anthony Hopkins is celebrating his 71st. Val Kilmer is 49. Legendary attorney Joe Flom is 85. Real estate mega-developer Ed Minskoff is turning 68. Donna Summers is 60. Author Nicholas Sparks is 43. Ben Kingsley is turning 65. Gong Li is 43. Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton is 57. And New Kids on the Block alum Joey McIntyre is turning 36.
As we eagerly await this weekend's Nights in Rodanthe to see if Richard Gere and Diane Lane can continue to make old-people sex as hot as it was in Unfaithful, we got to thinking — Nicholas Sparks is a total baller. Sparks, who writes the standard romance novel fare that stocks airport bookstores, wrote Rodanthe and has successfully pandered his schlock to production companies who have turned a number of his books into best-selling films. The Notebook, arguably the biggest success of the adaptations, quickly became that movie girlfriends forced their boyfriends to watch in the hopes of emulating real-life lovebirds Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. But now comes the recent news that Sparks is no longer satisfied with hipster newcomers and wants to hit the big time, so he's selling out and writing both a novel and a screenplay adaptation for a new film which are specifically designated for queen Miley Cyrus herself. Sparks is a smart cookie and he knows women love his shit. So is he the next Nora Ephron?Here are a few reasons why we think his films are so popular: 1.) They're completely unrealistic, and we love it. Clearly, the main reason women love romance movies is that they are ridiculously far-fetched. Sure, our boyfriends would jump on to a moving ferris wheel a la Ryan Gosling to ask us out on a first date! And pale, feeble, Cross-bearers like Mandy Moore could certainly tame popular cool cats like Shane West in A Walk to Remember in real life. We know it's all bullshit, but a girl can dream. 2.) He gets the right people to play the parts. Okay, when you were in high school, you totally thought pre-ER bad-boy Shane West was a fine piece. And clearly whoever is casting these things still has the knack for it: Channing Tatum is set to star in the upcoming adaptation of Dear John, and obviously Miley is in demand. Plus, James Franco cameo as Richard Gere's son this weekend? Do us. 3.) True love can survive anything. Gosling goes off to war. And then McAdams-turned-Gena Rowlands goes totally insane at the end of The Notebook and wanders all over the hospital post-midnight. It looks like the house in Rodanthe is about to rot into a piece of driftwood. Are these obstacles too grand to stop a Sparks plotline? Never! True love prevails over all. 4.) Speaking of houses - the ones in the movies are fucking sweet. Gosling builds McAdams a house. Like, are you serious? It has a ridic balcony so she can paint fields and rainbows and swans on the lake and shit. And though we haven't seen Rodanthe yet, it has blue shutters and is so close to the water the sand stains the windows. We want to live there. 5.) And finally, even old people can get it on in a Sparks flick. We weren't totally repulsed when Rowlands and James Garner made out at the end of The Notebook, and that's saying something.