If you quite fancy sitting in a cinema chair, embarking on an emotionally crippling rollercoaster and weeping until your popcorn turns soggy from the tears, then you're in LUCK, because there's a brand new Nicholas Sparks movie out this week.
The Choice, in cinemas right this second, tells the story of Travis and Gabby, who fall in love on his first meeting when she moves in next door.
But in true Nick Sparks style, their not-so-perfect romance unfolds into car crashes, comas and the choice which will change their love forever. We're already crying a bit.
So this week we popped down to have a chat with Nicholas himself, to find out what we can expect from his new film, to talk writing classic romances, AND to find out once and for all what he reckons are the most romantic movie moments of all time evuhhh.
HI NICHOLAS, . Can you tell us what The Choice is all about? We hear there's puppies involved, so we're very exited about it.
Sure! The Choice tells us about the choices we make when it comes to love. And like The Notebook, it's the only story I have that really explores what happens after the honeymoon ends. Once the honeymoon is over and once life settles in, then what happens? And what choices are we then willing to make when it comes to love?
Sounds pretty intense, is it going to make us cry? Because usually the words 'Nicholas Sparks' popping up in the opening credits means we're going to be emotionally bruised and battered.
Yes, absolutely. I would think that viewers will cry in the film, and yet they should also laugh. They should be drawn up into the characters, I think.
An emotional rollercoaster then. Do you set out to make us cry when you make these movies? Because it pretty much happens every single time. Without fail.
I suppose the answer in a nutshell is yes, and yet it's far more complicated than that. More than anything, these stories are meant to move the reader or the viewer through the entire range of human emotion. Everything from frustration, irritation and anger, to infatuation and and curiosity and confusion, acceptance and love, to fear and gnawing angst to loss.
It's to move someone through all of those emotions, so that by the time they finish either reading or seeing, they really feel as if they've experienced all these characters have to offer. If you omit one of the major emotions, well then it begins to feel like a fantasy and not anything that could really happen.
But how do you manage to avoid crossing that fine line into cheesiness? There's so much emotion involved in your stories, it's easily done when romance is at the heart of a book or movie.
Sure, that's very true. Number one, I try to keep the characters very authentic and honest, with the hopes that the reader feels as if they could know someone like this. Most of my characters are ordinary people - this [The Choice] is a veterinarian and a medical student. In The Longest Ride, he had a clothing store and she was a student. So there's an authenticity and a universality to the characters.
And then I suppose you have to put them into dilemmas that also feel authentic and real, as if they could happen to anyone. And finally, you let the emotions and events speak for themselves. You don't tell, you show - so that by the time one of the characters expresses what he's feeling, the viewers or readers should already know.
Brill advice for any budding writers out there. What do you think are the three main ingredients that you need to create the perfect romance?
I think there has to be an attraction, a conflict, and a resolution that is both aspirational and leaves one with a feeling of hope, whether it's a happy ending or a tragic ending.
What do you think is the saddest scene you've ever written? And was it difficult to write? You create these characters who you must connect to, and then errr... destroy their happiness, basically.
I think the saddest scene I ever wrote was towards the end of A Walk To Remember, because the novel is slightly different from the film. I wrote the entire novel knowing that Jamie would die. And when I got to that section, I could not do that. I could not do it. So in the novel, the ending is very ambigious. Last line is 'I know believe that miracles can happen', so the reader can take from that whatever they want.
It was so sad that I just couldn't do it. She's 17, she's such a good person. Jamie Sullivan was also inspired by my sister, she was one of my best friends in the world and I remember after I finished the novel and sent it to her and later asked her if she'd read it. She said no, and I asked why not, and she said 'Because I don't want to know how the story ends'. She ended up passing away a couple of months after that.
We're so sorry about that, the story must mean so much to you with that in mind. How about the most romantic scene you've ever written? Is there one that's particularly close to your heart?
I think the scene with Noah and Ali with the swans and the canoe. It's a classic.
We had a feeling you might choose that one, it'll go down in history for sure. But speaking of romance, you are pretty much the King of romance when it comes to books and movies, so we want to quiz you on what you think are the MOST romantic moments in the WHOLE of movie history.
Sure, I've got a few of them. How can you go wrong with 'Nobody puts baby in the corner' in Dirty Dancing. Followed by the dance, and they do the move, and the dad realises that he didn't get her pregnant and the whole thing ends with 'We had the time of our lives'. It just works.
How about when Jack sacrifices his life for Rose in Titanic? It's a beautiful moment.
How about when Sam finally appears to Molly at the end of Ghost, and he holds out his hand. That's a good moment.
When Edward shows up in the limousine with roses, climbs the fire escape for Vivienne and says 'What's next?', and she says that she rescues him too in Pretty Woman.
When Rick is at the airport and saying goodbye to Elsa in Casablanca. He had an affair with Elsa and she was the love of his life, and if he didn't give them the tickets he gets the girl, but if he gives her the tickets, he loses her. And he looks in her eyes and says 'Here's looking at you, kid'. That's pretty romantic.
How about Love And Basketball. Quincy is set to marry this girl, meanwhile his best friend throughout the film, the one you really know he should be with, Monica. They finally play a basketball game, and if he wins he's gonna marry the other girl. He wins, and then he says to her 'How about double or nothing?' That's a great line, right?
Sleepless in Seattle. When they meet atop of the Empire State Building even though she's set to marry Walter, that's a great scene and inspired by An Affair To Remember which is also very good, by the way.
You could also say Shrek and Fiona, right? She defies her family, gives up royalty and decides to be an ogre just for love. Just for love!
What are some others? OH, the all time most romantic moment in cinema history is in the movie WALL.E. A little robot, he's cleaning up the trash and finds a plant, there's all this adventure and they get back to Earth, but then he's rebooted and doesn't remember anything about his love for Eve. So Eve kisses him, and WALL.E is restored. Come on, the ultimate kiss.
Alright, stop now please Nick or we're going to cry again. IT'S ALL SO BEAUTIFUL.
Whaddya make of Nicholas's most romantic movie moments? Has he missed out any good ones? Gonna see his new film, The Choice? Let us know with a tweet to @Sugarscape.
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