The Best of Me (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Predictable, sappy…predictable.

I have to hand it to Nicholas Sparks for having every single one of his books made into films…that’s really impressive. Technically, I think we’d be better off with John Grisham adaptations, but even so – I gotta give props to Nicky Sparks for accomplishing this. Anyways, don’t you think it’s ridiculous how you don’t even need his name in the credits to know it’s a Nick Sparks film? Just close your eyes and feel the sappiness of the thing and you’ll know without a doubt. Well, that and the fact that all of his movies seem to have someone crying, someone dying, and some kind of romantic scene taking place in the middle of a ton of rain. Check, check, and check for The Best of Me.

The Best of Me is in fact a re-hashed and rewritten carbon copy of his other stories as well, but just for the sake of the review – I’ll break it down for you. When an old man dies, a man and woman whom were once young loves go back to their hometown for the funeral and reunite – and feelings fly. Like in The Notebook, the film deals with flashbacks as a form of storytelling as a slow progression to find out how they got to where they were today, and what that meant for the future.

So, first things first. James Marsden plays the main character Dawson. Luke Bracey plays young Dawson, and they look absolutely, positively, nothing alike. They got the wrong jaw line, wrong hair, wrong eyes, wrong smile, wrong eyes, wrong voice…everything. They say that’s because Paul Walker was originally supposed to take the role before he died, but Luke Bracey doesn’t even look like Paul Walker either. No, he looks closer to Heath Ledger, Thomas Jane, or Stephen Moyer. So as far as casting goes – it was so very off – and it needed to be accurate. A paying audience isn’t going to believe that these two are one in the same – so they will be taken out of the experience…and isn’t that point of the entire movie?

I don’t know, because even when you ignore the way the actors look, you still have a really repetitious Nicholas Sparks story. You got people crying, dying, and making out in the rain during flashbacks. You can guess what separated these two lovers and you can guess how it will end, too. How? Because you know Nicholas Sparks, there is absolutely nothing that’s unpredictable with that man anymore. I wish there was, I really do, but when it comes right down to it – you can even predict what the poster will look like…that’s just sad.

Now, to be fair, it has a good amount of heart in it. That’s also to be expected, but also welcomed regardless. Girls can and will cry during a scene or two in the movie, and while that’s also expected, being able to pull that off so many times…is still somewhat impressive when you think about it. I never said Nicholas Sparks was a bad writer, just that he hasn’t had an original idea in a little while. I think he could get back to originality if he really tried and ignored the masses, but that may never happen.

The Good:

It’s impressive for Nick Sparks to have all of his books made to movies – and as much crap as I can give this movie, it still had some heart to it.

The Bad:

It’s just predictable. I mean, how many times are you going to have all of the same elements in every single one of your stories. Switch it up. Give us a gay or lesbian couple if you want to stick with romance. Give us something that’s not sappy and doesn’t have people dying left and right. You’re not George R.R. Martin. This isn’t Game of Thrones. It’s a sappy romance.


2 thoughts on “The Best of Me (2014)

    1. It wasn’t the best movie in the world, but had Nick Sparks never shown up until now, it wouldn’t be as bad as we make it out to be, either. I have to keep that in mind. We can’t base our reviews of one movie on the other movies he has done – because technically speaking – they aren’t connected. If this was the first we’ve seen from him, it would probably be better, so that’s what I’m trying to convey.


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