Archives for posts with tag: Nicholas Sparks

If Nicholas Sparks had written “Nell,” it would have ended up being “Where the Crawdads Sing” (2022). That’s an observation, not a value judgement. Actually, “Crawdads” is a very watchable contribution to the box-of-Kleenex film genre. It loves its setting in the Carolina marshes and the setting loves it right back, providing a sense of place that nourishes a formulaic fusion of class conflict, forbidden romance and courtroom procedural. Daisy Edgar-Jones welcomes us into her character, the star-crossed Marsh Girl, allowing us to focus on her journey instead of the simplistic plot devices that serve as all the other characters.

The whole time I’m watching “A Walk to Remember” (2002) I’m waiting for somebody to walk somewhere and it’s just not happening. Meanwhile, the Nicholas Sparks emotional manipulation machine is running full tilt as a pair of star-crossed teens find true love at the high school musical. Mandy Moore was transitioning from pop to film at the time and her limited range is perfect for playing a preacher’s nerdy daughter. Shane West is the disposable James Dean wannabe forced to clean up his act. They’re perfect for each other. It’s good, simple entertainment, if you like this kind of movie.

Ever wonder what it would be like if Nicholas Sparks wrote gunfighter stories? Or if Sergio Leone was a romance novelist? Your answer may reside within the 98 minutes that make up “Jane Got a Gun” (2016). Boy goes off to war, girl gives up hope and makes new life, boy finds her and gets his heart broken, girl ends up needing him anyway because bad guys are coming, everybody starts shooting each other all to hell. The love triangle is slightly creepy but Natalie Portman and the scenery are both ruggedly hot. Some plot twists save the ending (sorta).