“The Best of Me” On Screen

Emotionally charged, ultimately predictable

Melissa Baez-Guiliani, Contributor

“The Best of Me,” the latest Nicholas Sparks movie opened in theaters this fall. Sparks has once again captured all the emotions of a love story.  When the tear-jerking scenes come on, the audience is sure to have tears rolling down their cheeks.
Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier were high school sweethearts, but they have been separated for 20 years. They reunite in their small Louisiana town when they both attend the funeral of  Tuck (Gerald McRaney), a close mutual friend who is also a father figure to Amanda. The story is told via flashbacks of the teen and adult versions of Dawson (Luke Bracey and James Marsden respectively) and Amanda (Liana Liberato and Michelle Monaghan). Tuck left them both notes telling them to spread his ashes in the garden. He hoped this would help them bond and fix their relationship. After reminiscing about the past and healing old wounds, the two rekindle their love.
Within the first five minutes of the movie, there is action and suspense. Dawson is working  on an oil rig when the drums start to explode. He selflessly saves two other workers as he gets blasted into the water. While passed out, Dawson gets a vision of Amanda. Meanwhile, Amanda is a stay-at-home mom, with an alcoholic husband who only cares about work and golf.

This romantic movie captures the heart and minds of its audience.

— Melissa Baez-Guiliani

The first flashback shows how Dawson and Amanda fall in love, and what their home lives are like. Amanda grew up in a wealthy home with loving parents. She was also the popular girl in school. Dawson grew up in a drug and alcoholic home with an abusive father. He was the quiet kid in school that was always reading books. Both Amanda and Dawson dreamt of going to college, but it was not realistic for Dawson. Despite all the troubles, Amanda and Dawson get through it by kissing in the rain.

Directed by Michael Hoffman, this romantic movie captures the heart and minds of its audience. You can feel Amanda and Dawson’s emotions throughout the movie. However, the ending was disappointing because it could be foreseen. Yes, the whole movie is quite predictable, but most romantic movies are, and this is especially true of Nicholas Sparks. “The Best of Me” earns three and half stars. It needs more surprising twists to separate it from other romantic movies.