Plot: A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown.
The reason behind going to watch this is: The original plan back when we went to see The Seventh Son was to see The Best of Me, but alas, it was sold out (yes, BOM was sold out… strange I know). So we went this weekend to see the latest Nicholas Sparks adaption before Valentine’s Day and the stampede of… feisty…. Fifty Shades of Grey fans storm the cinema and pain and stuff.
Well, The Best of Me was okay. There was a load of cheese, impossible romantic situations and lots of built up emotions over the time period they haven’t been together. Same old for a Nicholas Sparks book, you see. I haven’t read the book yet because I’ve become increasingly meh to the melodramatic books Sparks’ has become known for in his later days, so I can’t really judge this as an adaption, but please let me know if you’ve read the book and watched the movie!
In a generally mediocre experience, Liana Liberato did an excellent job as Amanda Collier. She is quite cute and her often unyielding view on things made me cheer for her. This is her second impressive performance in the last year – I liked her as the friend in If I Stay and it’s cool that she got a starring role here.
There were a few questionable occurrences: James Marsden and Luke Bracey looks nothing alike. The last time I checked it wasn’t humanly possible to change the size of your face and the your entire build in twenty years (except if you are a Kardashian). I do think that Masden and Bracey took the same approach to the character and that made up for their very different looks, but I just couldn’t reconcile them as one person.
The complete lack of chemistry between James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan made for a disappointing viewing experience. They are both decent actors but they did nothing together for me. I do apologize for drawing so many lines between Best of Me and The Notebook, but the movie itself was like a big raging copy of the Notebook. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams have enough electricity between them to solve South-Africa’s energy crisis, but James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan has nothing between them. I thought they both did fine as their characters, I couldn’t see how they would have ended up together in the first place. I thought the chemistry between Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato was much stronger and their romance made complete sense to me.
The similarities with The Notebook
The Notebook is arguably Sparks’ most successful and widely known adaption with maybe A Walk To Remember close behind, so I can understand them wanting to build on that. BUT, if Nicholas Sparks wasn’t the producer and writer in both these adaptions someone would have had their pants sued off because it’s The Best of Me steals repetitively from The Notebook.
I KNOW which one works best!
The kissing in the rain: Personally, I’ve always thought that only gives you a cold and gives you bad hair in front of your stukkie, but hey, if that thing works for you I won’t even judge. Thinking of it, I should probably check out in how many Nick movies they do end up kissing in the rain… off the top of my brain I can already think of three.
James Marsden everywhere. Not that I’m complaining, he’s got the most amazing eyes, but Marsden plays Lon Hamilton in The Notebook. It’s like he said to Nick that he thinks its bullshit that Ryan Gosling got so famous from The Notebook and he wanted a starring role too, thank you very much.
I didn’t read the book and I knew how the movie would go. Nicholas Sparks can be a bastard really, like a softer version of George Martin – he sure likes popping them just as much.
This movie was mindless fun and if you take into consideration that it was never meant to receive critical acclaim you can enjoy it as a sweet romantic drama without any impressive magic happening.