Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Best of Me ~ Blu-ray Review [@BestOfMeMovie]

The Best of Me
20th Century Fox
February 3, 2015
PG-13; 118 minutes
with James Marsen, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Luke Bracey
get info on IMDb/buy Blu-ray/or Amazon Instant Video

Based on the #1 New York Times Best Seller from celebrated author Nicholas Sparks comes this tender, romantic drama about the timeless power of love. When former high school sweethearts Dawson and Amanda (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) meet at a loved one's funeral 20 years after tragedy separated them, their love is reignited. As they recall and relive the past, they come to a deeper understanding about the choices they've made. Also starring Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato, and featuring beautiful scenery along with music by Lady Antebellum, The Best of Me is a powerfully romantic story of love, hope and second chances.

The Best of Me is based based on the Nicolas Sparks novel of the same name. Though it's true that Nicholas Sparks stories to seem to follow some of the same general themes (two [white] teenagers fall in love in the South, one's the 'good' girl or guy, the other's 'trouble' in some way, they fall in love, something threatens to break them apart, and someone in the story usually has cancer) it works well in here.

The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda are two Louisiana teens who fall in love, a tragedy tears them apart and then twenty years later they're reunited.
Amanda, The Best of Me

The story with the younger Dawson and Amanda was the stronger, better story and I would easily have loved a full movie of their story. Liana Liberato (who played Kim in If I Stay, something I don't know I would have realized without seeing her name) does a great job as the younger Amanda. She and Luke Bracey, as Dawson, are a really cute couple.

Kim, If I Stay
From the very beginning of their romance, through its growth and all of the trouble they face, they are a great couple. Everything working against them makes sense, but so does their love. They're pretty adorable and sweet.

The dual stories fit together well - and as we get closer to the end the necessity of both the past and the present to tell the whole story becomes clear. The 'now' part of the story, with Monaghan and Mardsen, updates the characters well, and is realistic without being too storybook.

The 'Tears of Joy Edition' of The Best of Me features an alternate ending that is, well, quite different. Both endings seem to fit in with the rest of the story but have much different outcomes.

The Best of Me is a sweet romance of two characters, from their young romance to their reunion as two adults who have been through a lot - together and separately.


 The Best of Me Special Features:

• “Tears of Joy” Edition with Alternate Ending
• Deleted Scenes (Blu-ray Only)
• Along for the Ride
• Nicholas Sparks Interviews: Michelle and James (Blu-ray Only)
• Nicholas Sparks Interviews: Liana and Luke (Blu-ray Only)
• Director’s Commentary by Michael Hoffman
• Music Video: I Did – Lady Antebellum
• Digital HD (Blu-ray Only)



about the book by Nicholas Sparks:

The Best of Me
Grand Central Publishing
October 11, 2011
292 pages
add to Goodreads


THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.







thank you to Fox & ThinkJam for my copy of the film to review

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