The Best of Me
Opening with the false epic that comes with every Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Best of Me promises tears, tantrums and tragedy from the outset. Another white trash guy meets posh girl with prejudiced father, Dawson and Amanda are doomed before they’ve even met. Cue a dreamy, chemistry-driven love affair that sadly can’t transcend the boundaries of class and the consequences of violence.
We’ve seen this all before, and it’s just so close to The Notebook that one can’t help but feel Sparks is ripping himself off. There’s ultimate stereotyping, drama galore and scenes – that flirting one – that just don’t play out like that in real life, but there are also believable performances from potential stars Luke Bracey (in himself a tribute to Heath Ledger) and sweet Liana Liberato.
Things start to get messy when Dawson and Amanda come together later in life; there are some truly tear-jerking moments as James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan play out their older selves wound up in an American Dream web of destiny and desire. Family bonds, lost love and duty are touched upon but never quite realised with the depth they deserve. Nevertheless, this film achieves what it promises and will satisfy fans, though A Walk to Remember remains the best of the bunch.
Brooding and emotionally wrenching from start to finish, this film is packed with storyline after storyline to the point of exasperation and finally disbelief. A decent rending of a terrible story, The Best of Me is certainly not the best of Sparks, but brings out some shining performances with emotional depth that might just hook you in.
The Best of Me is released nationwide on 15th October 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Best of Me here: