Day 118: The Best of Me (July, 5)

After an exhausting day, all I wanted was a not so good movie to watch. No way I could be worthy of a smart story in this day. So, I went to Netflix and looked for what would look an inoffensive production.

Netflix and me, we're building a spooky supernatural relationship. It gets my wish with precision every time. 

I only was aware that The Best of Me is a Nicholas Spark's book adaptation on the title sequence. I got a bit worried, maybe I was going to far in my pursuit of a simple movie, but I went ahead. And for the first hour, it was surprising even. Yes, all usual elements were there: present confronted to a troubled past, two crossed-stars lovers, a bench in a garden near a lake... Each element familiar on a Sparks story. 

Despite the stereotyped elements, though, this fist half has a somber tone about it that gets our attention. The four main actors are solid on their roles, coherent even if the younger Dawson is 5 cm higher than his older counterpart. At least Amanda, his romantic interest, maintains with the same height. It does seem a dumb thing to worry about, but it really bothers me this kind of lack of care to coherency in productions that present characters in different times of their lives. So, it seems silly to worry about that, but even if Luke Bracey is good, he and James Marsden are very different, what gets in the way of the storytelling. But the story is good in this first half, and I was enjoying it, wanting to know what would come next. 

Be aware of what you wish.

The doom came at last, and I could finally recognize this movie as a Sparks story. The troubled and quiet Dawson and the lively and strong Amanda melt into a bunch of tears and cheesiness, becoming other characters entirely. The ending is so "I cannot believe it", that all the point of how Amanda and Dawson are deeply connect is moot. It was too much, way too much. Two tones down, and this story would have been beautiful actually. 

After a nail biting suspense just about a man, in a car, struggling with his decisions, I couldn't spare the thought that there is no  need for a lot of twists and evil characters to tell a troubled love story. Ok, circumstances get in the way, life happens, as Dawson says in the beginning, but the way this story was conducted was almost sensationalist, worthy of a tabloid's first page.

The Best of Me. Directed by Michael Hoffman. With: James Marsden,
Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato. Writers: J. MIlls
Goodloe, Will Fetters from the book by Nicholas Sparks. US, 2014, 114 min.,
Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix).

PS: Fragment: Sense8, season 1, episode 9 (again:).

PPS: For about 3 or 4 years, every Christmas I re-read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares - it begins at December, 21 and goes until January, 1st. This movie remind me a funny dialogue in the book by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, page 185 (I love all three of their collaboration):

(Lily's voice):
We stood at the door to a special storage room in the basement of the Strand.
 “Do you want to guess what’s in here?” I asked Dash.
 “I think I’ve got it figured out already. There’s a new supply of red notebooks in there, and you want us to fill them in with clues about the works of, say, Nicholas Sparks.”
 “Who?” I asked. Please, no more broody poets. I couldn’t keep up.
 “You don’t know who Nicholas Sparks is?” Dash asked.
 I shook my head.

 “Please don’t ever find out,” he said.


  1. Based on the trailer, I remember sort of liking this. But now I'm not so interested anymore. Also, I'm not familiar with Nicholas Sparks' work, so I'm not really sure what to fear here. I'm just gonna give this one a pass.

    [ j ]

    1. I've seen just a few movies based on Sparks books, but I think that was enough for me now. They are so over in some aspects, it is annoying actually. But it's was a shame here, because the first part was far from bad.