Does Nicholas Sparks like what they did to his book AWTR?

Yes, Nicholas Sparks was involved in every step of the creation of the movie, and agrees with the changes. He consulted with Karen Janzen during the script writing process, visited the set 3 times, and consulted with the director after it was filmed.

On his website, he said:

“I’ll go on record as saying that I love the movie. I think it’s a wonderful adaptation, and I hope that everyone who enjoys my work will head out to see it. I promise that you’ll enjoy it.”

What are the bonus materials on the DVD?

the bonus materials on the DVD INCLUDE?

bullet Theatrical Release Version of the film — Wide Screen (Aspect ratio  2.35 :1)
bullet Audio commentary by Shane West [“Landon Carter”], Mandy Moore [“Jamie Sullivan’]  and Adam Shankman [Director]
bullet Audio commentary by novelist Nicholas Sparks and screenwriter Karen Janszen 
bullet Theatrical trailer
bullet Music video “Cry” by Mandy Moore

What scenes are deleted from the movie?

According to Adam Shankman, there were 36 deleted scenes from the movie. Most are unknown to the general public. The following are ones that have been mentioned in the DVD commentary or other sources:

bullet When Jamie was sick in the hospital, there was a short scene where Landon sang “Only Hope” to her. It was cut because it was felt that it made it too sad.
bullet When Jamie and her father were talking on the porch after London gave her the sweater, the scene was much longer with much more back and forth. Rev. Sullivan told her that she needed to give the sweater back or give it to charity. The scene was cut down because it made Rev. Sullivan come off too harsh.
bullet The scenes in the cemetery were a lot longer. A third scene — Jamie telling Landon that her mother is buried there and asking to never come back — was deleted.
bullet There were several more discussions about God and faith (Landon/Jamie, Jamie/Rev. Sullivan, Landon/Rev. Sullivan).
bullet The “Virgin Marry” scene was longer and dialog was cut to keep the movie a PG rated film.[ One deleted line was “Nice Funbags!”]
bullet The scene where Jamie’s dad was talking to her in the hospital was much longer in the script and as filmed. It revealed what has thus far only been hinted at, that Mrs. Sullivan had died shortly after giving birth to Jamie and some other background. It was cut for length and because it was too gloomy.

Why did Jamie carry around such an old Bible?

This was never addressed in the final version of the film, but the book had Landon ask her the same question. The Bible that she carried belonged to her mother. (I had guessed as much, but the book confirmed it).

An interesting note about this. If you recall, when Jamie gives him the book of quotations that had belonged to her mother, she told him “don’t worry, it’s not a Bible.” In the book version she DID give him a Bible for Christmas, in fact, it was HER Bible!

When does the movie take place?

One would assume about 4 years before the movie was released 😉

Seriously, though. The correct answer is the mid-1990’s. They had originally decided on the year 1996 but later deleted the references making it more vague.

“Flood” was released by Jars of Clay in late 1995 and “Twister” a popular movie from 1996 was supposed to be seen in the marquis of a movie theatre that Jamie and Landon walked by.

An early draft script had the story take place during the 1985-6 school year as indicated by the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger (Jan. 1986), the movie Ferris Buler’s Day Off, and numerous 80’s music references.