Some of the most well-known romance films in Hollywood are those that are based off of Nicholas Sparks novels. They have long attracted fans for their riveting love stories, but not everyone believes these movie relationships should be emulated in real life. In fact, the most popular Nicholas Sparks film actually features a relationship that fans think is very “toxic.”
What is the most successful Nicholas Sparks movie?
Nicholas Sparks movies have done quite well at the box office, but of course, some films will naturally attract more fans than others.
The most successful movie is “The Notebook,” which made $81 million at the box office, according to Vox Magazine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “The Notebook” also has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes (53 percent) out of any Nicholas Sparks films.
“The Notebook” has won the most awards, with the most iconic one being the “Best Kiss” category at the MTV Movie Awards in 2005. The lead actors—Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling—accepted the award with a kiss, which led many other winners to do the same the following years.
‘The Notebook’ features a very ‘toxic’ relationship, according to fans
While “The Notebook” is no doubt an important film in 2000s pop culture, many fans are looking at it differently in recent years. A number of people who used to love the movie are now calling the main characters’ relationship “toxic.”
One evidence for this argument lies in how Allie and Noah’s relationship began: Noah tried to ask her out at a carnival and threatened to end his life if she did not agree to go on a date with him.
In an article published on USA Today titled “‘The Notebook’ Is a Dumpster Fire and I Didn’t Realize It 15 Years Ago,” writer Carly Mallenbaum said, “I am embarrassed that I fell for a tale about a stalker who likes the way a girl looks on a carnival ride, and so he spends the rest of his life pining for her, despite not appreciating anything else about her.”
Throughout the whole movie, it is clear that Allie and Noah are different people, and they spend a considerable amount of time fighting with each other when these differences affect their lives.
Writer Sadie Trombetta wrote in a similar article for Bustle, “In its portrayal of their conflicts, the film pairs each fight with upbeat music and subsequent shots of them making up, so it appears the fighting is romantic. The movie again reinforces the dangerous notion that relationships are stronger if the people in them have gone through hell and back with or for one another. It says to the viewer, like so many other toxic on-screen or in-book relationships do, that strong love, true love, is born out of conflict.”
The relationship between Allie and Noah is less dramatic in the book
As Trombetta pointed out, Allie and Noah have a lot less of these “toxic” traits in the book. The controversial Ferris wheel scene does not exist, and their relationship and breakup are less dramatic as well.
However, Noah in the book still yearns for Allie in a similar way. Like in the film, he builds her dream house and constantly sends her letters even while she is living a new life with another man.
“At first glance, these emotional acts seem sweet, thoughtful, and deeply romantic, but at their core is an unhealthy and unwanted obsession from Noah directed at Allie,” Trombetta said. “Despite the fact they are broken up, Noah can’t let Allie go.”