Nicholas Sparks

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The Most Batshit Insane Twist Endings in Movie History

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This week marks the DVD and Blu-ray debut of Safe Haven, the critically drubbed Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring that girl from Dancing With the Stars and that dude from the Transformers movies. Normally, this would not be worth noting! But there’s something else that’s special about Safe Haven: it’s got one of the most utterly bananas crazy “twist” endings you’ve ever seen. Ever since The Usual Suspects blew everyone’s mind in ’95, and The Sixth Sense followed suit four years later, moviemakers have been trying their damnedest to create shocking third-act reveals that change everything we’ve seen before, and send us out of the theater reeling. Instead, most of them are befuddling, laughable, or just plain stupid. Here are a few examples (with a rather obvious spoiler alert).
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10 Male Writers on the Perfect Woman

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This week, we listened to Slate’s Gentleman Scholar advise a Miss Bianca on how to attract a writerly boyfriend. Though his response was clever indeed, we’re not sure it was overly helpful, so we thought we’d lend a hand by going straight to the source, and finding out what writing men have to say about their ideal women. Now, bear in mind: some of these quotes come from the mouths of characters, and as such must be taken with a grain of salt. That said, we all know that everyone’s characters spring from some part of themselves, so their words bear repeating here. Straight from the horse’s mouth, then: ten male writers on what they look for in a female mate after the jump. Just be warned — the results may make you think twice about wanting to date a literary man.
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Books That Old White Men Love to Hate

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Yesterday, we read a fascinating article on The New Yorker’s Page Turner about impact that former president of France Nicholas Sarkozy’s bizarre hatred of Madame de Lafayette’s 1678 novel The Princess of Clèves, a staple of French cultural heritage and the favorite book of many. Sarkozy publicly bashed and mocked the book, prompting obstinate outrage from his countrymen, and the article goes so far as to suggest that the president’s position on the work was part of the reason he was ousted earlier this year.

But why hate on this book, Sarkozy? Perhaps he was just being crotchety. Which brings us to the topic of the day: books that old white men love to hate. Of course we know there are no books that only men hate (or like, for that matter), and one dissident does not a trend make, but sometimes it’s fun to make assumptions, so please take the following in the spirit that it’s meant. Read on for a few books that have set off the alarms for the white male establishment, and let us know which scary feminist novels we missed in the comments.
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Trailer Park: A Holiday Feast

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Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got a whopping eleven trailers for you this week, offering everything from animation to big-budget studio comedy to Sundance hopefuls; check ’em out after the jump.
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What Are Critics’ Favorite “Chick Lit” Film Adaptations?

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“Chick lit” can be a loaded term — just ask Jennifer Egan. But it also provides an easy (if admittedly dated) shorthand for a category of fiction written for a female audience about the female experience. Today, when a film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help arrives in theaters, it joins a long line of best-selling books that Hollywood producers have snatched up, hoping to capture that allegedly elusive lady demographic. Judging by its current 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is also poised to join a much shorter list of chick lit film adaptations that were a hit with critics. Click through as we revisit some previous examples, starting with the best (The Bridges of Madison County) and ending with the worst (The First Wives Club), and let us know in the comments if you agree with the critics’ rankings.
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Best-Selling Writers on Writing: Alice Sebold, Nicholas Sparks, Sue Monk Kidd, Junot Diaz and Paulo Coelho

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“Around age 10 or 11. I began by writing poems. When I showed them to a teacher, my mother was called to the school for a chat. The poems were thought to be too graphic and mature.”
– ALICE SEBOLD on when she first started writing [FT]

“I don’t know if I necessarily believe in fate or destiny, though I’m a big believer in the fact that people have the ability to influence the future in a way that seems coincidental and when that happens, the feeling of fate or destiny is amplified. A basketball player, for instance, could practice a certain shot over and over until perfected and later, when the game is on the line, he might have the chance to make that exact same shot. To him, it might feel like destiny, to others, it might seem like fate, but in reality, it was simply a coincidence that seemed powerful because of how often it had been practiced.” – NICHOLAS SPARKS on the role of destiny in his books [Taiwan News]
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