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Nicholas Sparks Explains Theme for "The Notebook"

Sparks admits that the film's message of God's unconditional love, presented differently from his book, is indeed 'subtle.'
( [email protected] ) Jul 09, 2004 09:40 PM EDT

Based on the best-selling novel written by Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember), The Notebook has hit No.5 in the Top 10 Box Office this week, according to USA Today.

According to Nicholas Sparks, the film follows similarly to his work and intends to portray the strength of spiritual "agape" love between his two characters as the course of their paths progress. Until now, the film has engrossed 10.3 million, attracting audiences Christian and non-Christian alike.

Reminiscent of films such as the 1961's Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan), the film focuses upon the relationship between Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Nelson (Rachel McAdams), that portrays the journey of a couple's lives, whether separated or together. Overall the film presents themes such as the coming-of-age in love, both the spiritual and physical lesson learned from both characters.

Directed by Nick Cassevetes (Faces, John Q), The Notebook is a beautiful, moving film that will engage young and old alike with its message about love, lifelong commitment and overcoming our differences in marriage. Equally compelling are the sets, the production and the costumes. The cinematography is stunning, with beautiful (if somewhat fanciful) shots of duck-filled ponds, downtown Charleston and plantation homes at sunrise.

Sparks admits that the film's message of God's unconditional love, presented differently from his book, is indeed 'subtle.'

Sparks explains that his characters he intends to portray are people who exist everyday. "I don¡¦t want to mislead anyone who thinks these characters are without flaw. They're in love... I can't say that everything in the story is completely and a hundred percent Christian. But these are human characters. Nobody is perfect, period."

Despite criticisms from Christian audiences saying the film to be needlessly filled sensual scenes in contrast to what we call Christ-like and spiritual love, Sparks, the author if the novel, explains the overall message of his original work represents the redeeming power of Grace and unconditional love that overcomes.

When asked about the role that faith plays in the film through an interview with Christianity Today, Spark replies, "It's a metaphor of God's love for us all. The theme is everlasting, unconditional love. It also goes into the sanctity of marriage and the beauty you can find in a loving relationship."

Through the characters' mistakes and idolatry, the conclusion of the film presents the relationship as a redeemed one through love and grace despite the birth of sin.

"And that's the way the world works. And all we can do is do our best and accept Christ and live your life in as Christian a manner as you can. And you're going to fail at times," Sparks noted.