my interview with Nicholas Sparks on what makes love work

This week in Sunday Life I discuss The Notebook

2004 the notebook 003 my interview with Nicholas Sparks on what makes love work

If you ever find yourself in the laundry at a party skewered against the tub of stubbies by some eye-glazing, go-nowhere conversation, try this tactic. Ask everyone’s thoughts on The Notebook. In my experience everyone has a take on this 1996 novel, turned into a film in 2006. And it’s always pleasantly diverting.

I mean, most of us admit to only having half-watched the movie, and only to witness Ryan Gosling work his magic. Right? Blokes will say their wife made them do it. But in the next breath they’ll confess it made them cry. I know an ex-world number one light heavyweight boxer who’s watched it 14 times and a burly fireman who’s seen it nine. Both cried every time. Which is a phenomenon in itself.

But what I find interesting when I spike party small talk with such a conver-bomb is that invariably women say they love the film because the female protagonist Allie – who’s faced with choosing between first love Noah and her posh, sweater-n-chinos fiancé – eventually goes with her heart. Chicks love this.

Blokes, however, say they get all prickly-eyed because the dude who sticks to his belief that he’d found his girl (and built a house in readiness for her return) wins the day. The nobleness entailed in this and the fact he stands by Allie through all kinds of calamities hits a waterworks nerve for men. Chicks also love this.

Choosing to go with your heart, and determined, stoic nobleness – it’s fundamental Venus vs Mars stuff. But at the core of both takes is the same principle, I think. A “good” decision was made. And committed to. Simple! Phew!

Since seeing the film myself, I’ve always wanted to know author Nicholas Sparks’ take on love. Is he a romantic? A cynic? This week I got my opportunity during his visit promoting his seventeenth novel The Best of Me.

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