Got a hot date with Nicholas Sparks' characters this weekend? For first-timers, the key is to approach his stories with a heart of stone. And choose your favorite character carefully, as the one you get most attached to will probably be six feet in the ground by the time the credits roll.

As if sweet, schmaltzy nothings whispered by the author's chiseled leads weren't enough to tug at audience's heartstrings, the impending doom of his key players, whether due to incurable disease (like Jamie Sullivan and her secret struggle with leukemia in A Walk to Remember) or natural disaster (like Paul Flanner, who gets taken out by a mudslide in Nights in Rodanthe) further ensures the characters' relationships are overly-romanticized to the umpteenth degree.

And, not to mention, that you'll emerge from the theater covered in snot and tears. Hopefully not your own.