My Rating: 2 Buckets of Popcorn- Good Movie Worth Seeing…
Nicholas Sparks has written another amazing romantic drama story which Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe converted into a screenplay, directed by Michael Hoffman, “THE BEST OF ME”. Similar to his hit, “THE NOTEBOOK”, the storyline in “THE BEST OF ME” jumps back and forth from the past to the present and is brilliantly written. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan with Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato portraying the younger incarnations from 20 years earlier. Dawson met and fell in love with Amanda when they were in high school, but because of his father being a total douchebag and trying to force him to join in the “family business” of cultivating marijuana and selling it, things just don’t work out for them to be together.
Young Dawson & Amanda having dinner with Tuck.
20 years in the future, in the present, Dawson had left the bayou small town where he grew up and worked on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico until there was an accident and explosion and he was blown into the water where he was miraculously rescued and resuscitated hours later. After recovering from the trauma, he gets a call from the estate attorney of his surrogate father and mentor, who had taken him in and provided a roof over his head and a place to call home when things went bad with Dawson and his dad, informing him that Tuck, his friend had passed away and left something in his estate for him.
Dawson and Amanda have dinner once more on Tuck’s porch like old times.
So Dawson returns to his hometown, only to discover that his high school sweetheart had also gotten the call to fly in from her new life as well. Tensions are running high for more than one reason as the story unfolds of what transpired in the past that led to them going their separate ways and as the past catches up with them with unexpected consequences.
The older Dawson and Amanda
Even though this movie is receiving very bad reviews and ratings from critics, I found it entertaining and enjoyable, in spite of needing some tissues towards the end for the surprise ending. Maybe my enjoyment was influenced however, by James Marsden arriving at the theater prior to the screening to welcome us to the advance movie viewing and telling us how much he enjoyed making it.
The younger Dawson & Amanda
The only negative comments that I would make is that with James Marsden’s youthful good looks, it’s difficult to accept that he is the 20 years older version of Luke Bracey’s Dawson. In the first place, they look more like they could be brothers due to the effective age of Marsden and there’s also the fact that they look NOTHING alike whatsoever! I think it was very poor casting. I think that Nicholas Hoult (“Jack the Giant Slayer” & “Warm Bodies”) would have been a much better person to play the younger Dawson since he looks a lot like James Marsden.
I didn’t find this Sparks movie to be as mushy and gushy as “The Notebook” was, probably because of the lesser age difference between the two sets of characters. I enjoyed it more and I think most people will also. Post your comments below if you go see it and tell me what you think. “THE BEST OF ME” opened in theaters October 18th.