The Best of Me (2014)
For the record, so my man card remains unrevoked, the only reason I agreed to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie in the first place was because it was Mother’s Day, and my wife, who is also the mother of our daughter, requested it. That being said, I was surprised at how much I generally enjoyed this movie. That said, this is a non-stop cliché factory from beginning to end. Think “Notebook light” with a little bit of “Seven Pounds” thrown in and you’ll be about on the right track. The movie tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, who are played by two sets of actors to show the teenage version of them, and the thirty-something versions. They are brought together by a mutual mentor named Tuck who looks out for them and occasionally goes all Gran Torino on the bad guys of this movie, which is Dawson’s biological family, who are all basically one dimensional cut outs of the Dwight Yoakum character from Sling Blade…. (Now if this movie had, had Carl Childers in it, that would have made things much more interesting now that I think of it…) Anyway, I won’t spoil too much of what goes down, other than to say this movie has an ending which does not fit with the rest of the story. The villains also feel very tacked on and are strictly a contrivance to occasionally engineer the needed tragedies to add grittiness to the film. It would take a hell of a lot more than that to make this film feel gritty though. This movie is so polished and pristine that you could hit the pause button at almost any moment and have yourself a ready to print Hallmark card. I give it an extra star because my wife enjoyed it (aside from the ending) and she is more the target audience here. This movie had far too many narrated speeches with cliché sentiments, and a story that was so cookie cutter you could almost see parts of the next movie about to be made from the same parts.