3
By Allison Hazlett-Rose
Oct 17, 2014 10:28 AM EST

The Best of Me Theatrical Review

The Best of me is not great cinema and won’t be winning any awards but Liberato is terrific and the photography is beautiful. Otherwise, it’s what you would expect from a Nicholas Sparks’ film.
The Best of Me Theatrical Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
Boy meets girl in 1992 in a small Louisiana town.  Boy is from the wrong side of the tracks.   Girl comes from a well to do family.  Boy and girl fall in love but are ultimately torn apart and destined to spend the rest of their lives pinning for each other. 
 
It's a story we've heard time and time again and, except for a few deviations to the plot, it's the basic premise for The Best of Me.  The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks' (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle) novel stars James Marsden (Xmen: Days of Future Past; Enchanted) and Michelle Monaghan (Due Date; Kiss,kiss, Bang, Bang) as past lovers who meet again 20 years later.  Luke Bracey (The November man) and Liana Liberato (If I Stay) play the younger versions of Dawson and Amanda, who we see in a series of flashbacks.
 
When Dawson and Amanda each receive a phone call that Tuck (Gerald McRaney; The A-Team) , a  beloved father figure and mentor to the young couple,  has passed away, they find themselves face to face dealing with all the emotions left buried for the past 20 years.  Even though time has passed and they are different people with very different lives, they still struggle with the love they feel and the anger, hurt and sorrow that tore them apart so long ago.  Ultimately they must once again leave each other but with a different perspective on each other and themselves.
 
As with every Sparks' story, there is young love and romance ultimately followed by heartache and The Best of Me is no different.  If you plan to go to this movie expecting something else, don't bother.  There is a working formula that isn't deviated from, including the unhappy ending. 
 
While I happen to like both Marsden and Monaghan, I didn't particularly like them in this film.  It's a little difficult because they are supposed to be the same Dawson and Amanda only older but I felt they lacked some of the intangible that made younger Amanda and Dawson so likeable.  While the characters are supposed to develop and change as they grow older and experience life, I still felt a little bit of a disconnect between the older and younger Amanda and Dawson.  I also felt Monaghan and Marsden lacked Chemistry which may be which I didn't particularly believe them as the older couple.
 
Liberato and Bracey, on the other hand were terrific and had tons of chemistry which I think really added to the story.  They were so believable as young lovers with a bit of naiveté, it was a pleasure to watch their story develop.  Bracey holds his own but the real star of the movie is Liberato; at time vulnerable and childlike while at other times incredibly strong minded and mature.  I believe her performance elevated Bracey's bringing him almost up to her level.

Besides Liberato, I enjoyed some of the stunning visuals director Michael Hoffman (Gambit, One Fine Day) provided.  The Opening sequence on an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico lent itself to majestic views of the open water and Hoffman utilized it beautifully.  He also created a flow to the story that isn't choppy or disjointed, which can sometimes happen when jumping between the present and the past.
 
The Best of me is not great cinema and won't be winning any awards but Liberato is terrific and the photography is beautiful.  Otherwise, it's what you would expect from a Nicholas Sparks' film.  C
Share this:

Directed By:

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 119 minutes
Distributed By: Relativity Media

For more information about The Best of Me visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.


Read More Reviews For The Best of Me

About Allison Hazlett-Rose

FlickDirect, Allison  Hazlett-Rose

Allison Hazlett has always had a passion for the arts and uses her organization skills to help keep FlickDirect prosperous. Mrs. Hazlett oversees and supervises the correspondents and critics that are part of the FlickDirect team. Mrs. Hazlett attended Hofstra University where she earned her bachelors degree in communications and is a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle. Read more reviews and content by .

  • Full Bio
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
Fandango NOW


comments powered by Disqus

Latest Reviews