The Best of Me (2014)


Since the success of The Notebook (2004), Hollywood has been falling over themselves trying to adapt Nicholas Sparks’ backlog of work, with The Best of Me released last year.

Dawson (James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) were once in love as teenagers. Twentyone years later, they are apart until they meet up after the death of their mutual friend Tuck (Gerald McRaney). Can they forget the past and rekindle their love against all the odds?

I like a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ adaptations like The Notebook, The Lucky One and A Walk to Remember. However, I wasn’t as enamoured with The Best of Me. There are too many clichés - the guy from the wrong side of the track in love with the rich girl, family troubles blah, blah, blah. It wouldn‘t be too bad if these clichés were told in a good way, but everything is just a bit boring.

Marsden and Monaghan are good as the long lost lovers - particularly Marsden - but they don’t really have much chemistry together. The same goes with the two actors playing their younger selves (Luck Bracey and Liana Liberato).  Dawson’s family are also embarrassingly 'white trash' stereotypes that it was quite cringeworthy to watch at times.

The story did start to pick up around the halfway point and I was getting more involved with the characters, but then the ending ruined it. I guess the end twist ages before it happened and I kept thinking please doesn’t let it end this way, but unfortunately it did.

If you’re not a fan of Nicholas Sparks films then this won’t change your mind. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it will appeal too much to his enthusiasts either.

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