Question: What's the only thing worse than doing an unfaithful film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel? Answer: Doing a completely faithful one.
When a novel gives you soapsuds and washboard abs to work with, what other choice does a director have but to provide the most aesthetically pleasing actors, scenery and sets to disguise the thinness of the underlying material.
No amount of neck nuzzling or back arching can make us believe there's real heat rising between these two. Onscreen chemistry between actors is a mysterious thing - 100 years into cinema, it remains the one story element that Hollywood can't fake.