With The Best of Me opening this week, we break down the many recurring themes of the films based on his novels, including: Message in a Bottle (1999); A Walk to Remember (2002); The Notebook (2004); Nights in Rodanthe (2008); Dear John (2010); The Last Song (2010); The Lucky One (2012); and Safe Haven (2013).
Characters exchange hand-written letters and/or journals: 6
Characters escape to an idyllic Southern town: 5
Character dies of cancer: 4
Character killed in battle: 2
Dead character returns as ghost: 1
The Best of Me James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato. Directed by Michael Hoffman. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.