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The Best of Me (2014)

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Released:  Friday, October 17, 2014  
Length:  119 minutes
Studio: Relativity Media
Genre: Drama
Rating: The Best of Me is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Synopsis

Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells 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 a 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.

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The Best of Me Blu-ray Review


Based on a Nicolas Sparks novel, The Best Of Me is out on Blu-ray and DVD.   Having not read any of his books, and only having seen a few of his movies, I didn't know what to expect.  A friend did say she threw the book across the room at the end, so I was a little concerned about the ending.
 
While I am a fan of two of its stars, James Marsden (X:Men, Superman Returns) and Michelle Monahan (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Mission: Impossible III) ,I was far more impressed with the actors who portrayed their younger versions for the film, Luke Bracey (The November Man, Point Break) and Liana Liberato (If I Stay, Free Ride).  To be fair though the story line was much tighter for the younger stars which helped.
 
The movie begins by showing the two characters, Amanda and Dawson, as adults; Amanda, a mother and unhappy housewife, and Dawson, a worker on an oil rig.  Amanda and Dawson, high school sweethearts, are notified that their mutual friend, Tuck, played by Gerald McRaney (Major Dad), has died. They both return to their hometown to take care of his estate.
 
There are continual flashbacks showing the two and their romance through their younger selves.   We learn theirs is a typical rich girl meets boy from the wrong side of the tracks story.  Tuck has taken in Dawson and living with him allows Dawson the chance to let their romance grow.  Tragic circumstances in their lives eventually tear the two apart and they move on separately. 
 
As the movie progresses, it is clear the two never fell out of love. Dawson admits that Amanda is the only one he has ever loved.  Amanda, of course, although also in love, is torn over her feelings as she is married and still hurt over how their relationship ended.
 
The movie, I admit, is quite, well, sappy and dragged in parts. But if you are into Nicholas Sparks books, it is a nice romantic film, although extremely predictable.  Even the events at the end, which caused my friend to throw her book across the room is not a new concept.  Watching films based on his books, they always seem to make references to other movies we've all watched over the years. 
 
The Blu-ray comes with a Digital HD version that can be redeemed online.  It also features an alternative ending to the film.  Scenery is beautiful and easy to watch with a Widescreen 2.40:1 viewing option.  The sound quality is English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  Additional features of the Blu-ray include an interview with Michelle Monahan and James Marsden and Liana and Luke.  There is also commentary from director Michael Hoffman and deleted scenes.  For those into music videos, Lady Antebellum's music video, "I Did", is also included.
 
While The Best of Me isn't the best, I give it a solid C+.

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