Trapped in the matrix of Nicholas Sparks

This week, the most terrifying film of the year will premiere in movie theaters across America. It is more disturbing than “Annabelle” and even darker than “Dracula Untold,” it is the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, grossly titled “The Best Of Me.” Like gang-green spreading over the mangled feet of World War I troops in the trenches, Sparks’ mush opus will rampage across theaters and hearts, taking no prisoners and emotionally executing any resistance. Already Sparks’ films have looted $429 million from your girlfriend-pressured wallets.

“The Best Of Me” is vintage Sparks crapology. It pairs up Ken doll hybrid James Marsden with the vapidly cute Michelle Monaghan as, a typically nauseous high school couple. High school: the age when most people are full blown idiots when choosing partners and attempting what could pass for a relationship (then again this habit might last, if you’re lucky, until around the age of 25).

According to today’s love prophet, the best relationships are ones that stem from opposing social classes, the guy being a low-income troublemaker, the girl being a flower of wealth with disapproving parents. And unless you’re an adonis, the average female will care less if you share common interests because they have to answer to hormonal wants.

He emphasizes coincidental conveniences and the positive outcomes of irrational unlikely reunions.

Nothing else needs to be written because anyone who has followed Sparks’ routine hack jobs knows what follows. Sparks is the romantic prophet of our delusional, jaded age. His so-called novels will be studied by future scholars with awe at how the concept of (gag) love was downgraded to such laughable fantasies. Man has already attached excessive meaning to biological mating purposes, but Sparks has found a way to turn that into a consumerist product.

In a recent article for GQ titled “Nicholas Sparks Has Been To Bed With 97 Million Women,” the staff writer Andrew Corsella heralds the “author” as “A figure of almost superheroic potency whose nonliterary triumphs match his book sales in their power to astonish.”

For worse, Sparks is the trickster who pumps out today’s modern definition of love and ourselves. While his books sell by the bucket loads, let’s focus on the film adaptations. In a time when audio/visual art forms dominate the world, and a movie can have far greater impact than a book, the film adaptations of his novels are just as impacting. Viewers of the epic war movie “Braveheart,” while masterful, is largely speculation.

Why do the masses flock to Sparks’s cinematic witch sabbaths?

Why is “The Notebook” the cult love story of our time? Especially since “Best of Me” is for all intensive purposes a total remake. Why are none of these stories rooted in any sort of reality? For instance, there is no such thing as the climactic, game-changing kiss. Not on a ferry boat dock (“Safe Haven”), not on a dock by a marina (“A Walk to Remember”), not on a dock in the rain (“The Notebook”), not in front of a car (“Lucky One”), not in an unconstructed house (“Dear John”).

The answer probably lies in the superficial vortex we’re living in. Trends, supposed fashion, and TV are defining more and more what’s beautiful, acceptable or popular. Sparks’ films are like a pill for viewers who want their hearts tugged amid our cruel, vapid times. It’s the emotional equivalent of people who know something is “wrong” with “the system” and instead of doing anything concrete, would rather dabble in government conspiracies such as the 9/11 Truth movement .

In the case of Sparks, viewers want their cake and eat it too. They want to believe in something meaningful, but defined by very dry cringe-inducing, superficial storytelling accompanied by men who look as if they walked out of the Getty’s collection of Grecian statues.

Two people, most likely from the south or living by the beach, fall in love and can’t be together for whatever reason. They either overcome their obstacles quickly or are separated for decades and brought back together by “fate”.

Most of these films are made with skill because the studios can hire top notch talent to make trash (“Message In A Bottle” director Luis Mandoki’s “Innocent Voices” is a strong film about the Salvadoran Civil War). But the stories and characters are an empty, disturbing collection of nothingness. Consider the conversations Nicholas Sparks characters have. Their conversations in private consist of “why are you looking at me like that?” “How?” “Differently” (Dear John). No one seems to have any interests other than practical chores or their loneliness.

Notice too that the women in Nicholas Sparks stories are presented as empty vessels. They cannot decide anything for themselves without being hassled or pushed by some shiny-teethed deuche speaking in cryptic, nearly abusive language (“well what do you want?! just tell me now!”). As someone who knows he would collapse into a coma without the female staff who help keep this paper going, it’s ridiculously laughable.

Sparks films are a depressing downgrade from better, smarter movies that were around before his bile contaminated the land. In films such as Cameron Crowe’s 1989 “Say Anything,” the characters were actually normal intelligent people who talked about real things, and seemed to develop genuine connections.

This weekend, do not let Nicholas Sparks lure you into his latest money-grubbing, depression-inducer. If you must, watch a bootleg with a friend so you can poke fun at the hilarity. The best way to fight back against Nicholas Sparks is by defying what he stands for, exploiting and manipulating young love at the expense of your money