It's time to face reality: It's Nicholas Sparks' world. We just live in it.
Really, the prolific romance author plays us like goddamn puppets. The author has seen eight of his novels adapted for the screen, to stunningly successful results. "The Notebook" makes our romantic lives pale in comparison, and the devotion between Mandy Moore and Shane West in "A Walk to Remember" is swoon-worthy. Let's not even get started on "Dear John" — it's enough to make a girl want to invest in personalized stationery.
Since there's not even a point to these movies other than romance, let's get to business: Which of these gentlemanly characters would we most like to take home to our dewy-eyed mothers, which would we hit and quit, and which would we just, well...hit? Yes, it's time for Eff, Marry, Kill: Nicholas Sparks Edition.
We called upon our wise editor friends at Huffington Post Entertainment and Film School Rejects to help us parse these important matters, and we also turn to you, dear reader. Let us know in the poll below and the comments: Who would you eff, who would you marry, and who would you kill?
Madeline Boardman, Huffington Post Entertainment associate editor
As every good decision should, this one started with Channing Tatum for me. How can you NOT eff Channing? Between his ripped body and effortless swag, he was an easy choice. While "Dear John" is definitely one of Sparks' biggest stinkers, Channing conquers all.
That leaves Shane West's Landon and Ryan Gosling's Noah. Women of the world, forgive me, but Gosling had to go. Landon proved he was marriage material over and over in "A Walk to Remember" — he put in major effort with the in-laws, always puts Mandy Moore first, and that whole sickness-and-health thing? Nailed it. Noah's Southern charm in "The Notebook" was definitely enticing, but the daily letters bordered on stalkerish and honestly, when it came down to it, the breakup beard was just unforgivable. Sorry, Gos. Or should I say...Gone.
Eff: Channing Tatum in "Dear John"
Marry: Shane West in "A Walk to Remember"
Kill: Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook"
Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects associate editor
Clearly, the traditional wisdom holds that Ryan Gosling's character from "The Notebook," crazy passionate Noah, would be the one to marry, but let's be honest here: He's the ultimate eff. Noah is perhaps a bit too crazy passionate in his early years. This is a guy who hung off a Ferris wheel and laid down in the street and built a table and cried a lot and just wrote way too many letters. Sure, he matures up nicely, but if we're judging purely on Gosling-played Noah, this is the epitome of a hit it and quit it. Hit it and then probably just get as far away from his place as you can. He'll still find you. though.
Marry Channing Tatum in "Dear John." Man, what a sadsack. But while ol' Notebook Noah's dedication seems a touch overbearing, John Tyree's fidelity to Amanda Seyfried's Savannah Curtis actually comes off as respectable and normal, until she dropkicks him for Henry Thomas (of all people!). John is a nice guy, and he'd surely make a nice husband, even if he does have a thing for getting it on in barns.
All of this means that I'd have to kill Shane West as Landon Carter in "A Walk to Remember." Ohh, you made a telescope and you're a doctor now? How nice for you, you smug bully.
Eff: Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook"
Marry: Channing Tatum in "Dear John"
Kill: Shane West in "A Walk to Remember
Kase Wickman, NextMovie staff
I'm both a longtime Nicholas Sparks denier and devotee: I sobbed on my parents' living room couch reading "A Walk to Remember" as a middle schooler, but I also managed to put off
crying through seeing "The Notebook" until last year. That said, I know from handsome men, and dayyyyyum, these gents are fine specimens. It's a tough choice, but someone's gotta get the axe. Though Mr. Sparks likes to wait til the end of his stories for death to do his characters part, let's get this out of the way: Sorry, Shane West. I can't get over how rude your character was in the beginning of "A Walk to Remember." You're a rebel without a cause? I'm a rebel without giving a damn. She had cancer, man. Not cool.
Which makes it a fight to the bone between Gosling and Tatum's fictitious counterparts. I'm never one to deny the power of The Gos, but the mere mention of Chan's name has me literally fanning myself. They're both letter-writers, but Gosling's never made it to their recipient, remember. So let's say, based solely on the interest I have in reading some dude's chicken-scratched heartfelt missives, I would hit and promptly quit Channing Tatum, and marry Ryan Gosling. You wrote to me every day for a year? No one's saying I have to read them. Build me another table, sir! Row me in a canoe! Make out with me in the rain! Pro tip: Lay off the letters. I'm not your pen pal.
Eff: Channing Tatum in "Dear John"
Marry: Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook"
Kill: Shane West in "A Walk to Remember"
What do you think, precious readers? Hit us up in the comments!