‘The Best of Me’ Review: Not the Best of Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me will surely be on the date night agenda for females all across the country tonight and this weekend. And it’s not hard to understand why – The Best of Me is based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks. It tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, who are two former high school sweethearts. After 20 years apart, they find themselves reunited for the passing of a beloved friend. As the days go by, the love that they never forgot is reignited. However, the forces that drove them a part two decades ago still pose threats in the present day, and a second chance at first love just isn’t that simple.

The acting wasn’t bad, but the casting of Luke Bracey as a younger version of James Marsden’s character Dawson – I just couldn’t buy it. The only physically similarity between the two is they both are extremely attractive. They look nothing alike. But that’s not the problem here…

Sparks is turning into the M. Night Shyamalan of romance movies. Hit it big with the genre with his first few films (IE. The Notebook), but in the years since and in his attempts to reclaim former success – he is just writing the same stories over and over. There is so much of The Best of Me that is The Notebook regurgitated….

Let me explain…

  • Boy from the wrong side of the tracks with heart of gold – CHECK
  • Sassy girl from rich, well-to-do family – CHECK
  • Kissing in the rain scene check – CHECK
  • One of girl’s parents gets involved to discourage the relationship – CHECK
  • Guy fixes up house… okay slight change here – guy fixes up yard – CHECK
  • Girl moves onto new guy thinking Boy is no longer interested in her – CHECK
  • Someone dies – CHECK

I could go on… but I already feel as if I’ve wasted enough time with this flick. These weren’t even the main issues I had with the film. The major problem was roughly the last 10 minutes – from where we go from The Notebook rip-off to just plan WTF… I won’t spoil it, but you’ll see it coming. And you, like everyone else in the theater I was with – will be rolling your eyes saying, “REALLY?!”

The Best of Me Trailer

Bottom line, The Notebook it is not. I was a huge fan of Sparks’ earlier work, but not this.

Grade: D


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