But as far as the romance is concerned, Sparks picked two moments -- "the two of them in the canoe, and the scene in the stairs." In the canoe, Duhamel's character Alex reveals to Hough's Katie how hard it is to be a dad, and how he feels like he's making mistakes. "This was supposed to be his wife's job, and she's gone now, and he doesn't know what to do. He didn't get the list of instructions," Sparks said. "That very revealing moment, to me, is a moment of utter honesty. And you can compare that to the scene on the stairs, when she's getting ready to leave, and he says, 'No, you have to stay.' Those are bookends of honesty."
Love lesson: For love to be true, tell the truth.
No, that's not the title of one of Sparks' works.
If you're among those who feel that Valentine's Day is a commercial holiday that sets up unrealistic expectations, is a poor indicator of love and commitment, or you've been recently dumped and don't want to watch two people fall in love and have the best. kiss. ever., Sparks sympathizes. Here are his picks to indulge in a healthy dose of "love sucks."
"How about 'Jagged Edge,' 'Basic Instinct,' or 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'?" he said, laughing. "I loved 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.' I thought it was incredibly well done. It's the kind of film you get in the mood to watch every now and then, like 'The Breakfast Club.' To me, that's what it is. It's one of those that should grow in popularity over the years."
It should be noted that love connections are made in both "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "The Breakfast Club." The guy can't help it.
For television episodes, he recommends the Sam and Diane break-up on "Cheers." "That's a good one," he said, "because it had been so well-played for so many seasons that you couldn't help but root for them even though you knew they weren't right for each other. And it was a bittersweet ending. You're like, 'Couldn't you have been right for each other? Then it would have all worked out! Couldn't you have just been different people? Then it'd be perfect!' "
And the perfect anti-Valentine's Day song to listen to would be Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)." "It's a great song, number one," he said. "And then there's that kind of notifying, 'Take a look at me now!' You survived."
Whichever of these options you choose, Sparks said, "Have a girls night in and celebrate yourself!"
A limited edition collection of films adapted from Nicholas Sparks' books is available on DVD now.