Author: Allie DiNunzio
Director: Michael Hoffman
Cast: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey, and Sebastian Arcelus
Synopsis: The story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of the beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.
Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.
Nicholas Sparks is at it again with his newest romantic novel to movie adaptation The Best of Me, this time brought to reality by director Michael Hoffman. The film centers around two high school sweethearts named Amanda and Dawson, played respectively by Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, who reconnect while visiting their hometown after twenty-some years away.
Like many of Sparks film adaptations, The Best of Me is full of long swooping camera shots through the southern, moss grown trees coupled together with the feelings of whimsy romance that Amanda and Dawson express throughout their time together.
What starts off with the usual, yet predictable, characters and storyline for every “chick flick”, takes a welcome roller coaster ride through some wit, laughter, tears, and gasps. It’s the down and dirty fight scenes that take the audience by surprise.
It’s hard not to feel the character development was a little bit weak. The viewer can’t help but feel they want to get to know the main characters on a deeper level – there’s just a sense of disconnect with their story. In the end, The Best of Me can be appreciated for the beautiful Southern scenery and cinematography used to emphasize it – something that many Nicholas Sparks movies are known for.
The film falls in line with other Sparks adapted films but manages to bring something new to the picture with a heartwarming tale of fate, destiny, and love. The Best of Me is a touching film that will be watched for years to come. After all, the best part of romance movies is getting to cuddle up at home, on the couch to watch them!
The Best of Me hits theaters October 17, 2014.