SYNOPSIS: When former high school sweethearts Dawson and Amanda meet at a loved one's funeral 20 years after tragedy separated them, their love is ignited. As they recall and relive the past, they come to a deeper understanding about the choices they've made. 


In the literary circle, when it comes to horrors, the name Stephen King pops up. Legal thrillers and we have John Grisham. Weepy romantic sagas? Nicholas Sparks has them all covered. Like it or not, Hollywood practically served up at least one of Sparks’ works annually. For sure, it’s not going away anytime soon.

In this heavy-handed tale of first love, James Marsden (Enchanted) and Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) plays high school sweethearts, Dawson and Amanda who separated after a tragic incident which sees Dawson being sent to prison. 21 years later, while sorting out the belongings of a deceased friend, Dawson and Amanda starts reigniting their love. The question is will Sparks allow them to have a second chance to live happily ever after?

The Best Of Me is expectedly filled with Sparks’ usual formulaic plot devices and ludicrous twists. He is always out to boast the tissue business and believe me, there are way too many unbelievable obstacles along the way to split up the pair of lovebirds. For starters, Dawson comes from an abusive and drug-dealing family while Amanda is that sweet pampered girl from a rich family. Talking about family status, Dawson obviously is out of her league. Then there is a violent confrontation that leads to more bad blood between Dawson and his dad. And while a major explosion on an oil rig didn’t kill him, I’m not so sure if he will survive Sparks’ trigger-happy, over-emotional climatic ending.

Even though the mawkish tearjerker might not tug at your heartstrings, Marsden (who inherited the role after the passing of Paul Walker) looks incredibly charismatic and sexy on screen opposite Monaghan. Since the movie travels back and forth filling audiences with their backstories of love, pain and agony, Luke Bracey (The November Man) and Liana Liberato (Stuck in Love) played the leads’ younger versions despite the obvious fact that both resembles more towards Chris Hemsworth and Taylor Swift rather than Marsden and Monaghan.

Venturing into The Best Of Me is liked attending Nicholas Sparks’ School of Life where star-crossed lovers learn to live, make love, read letters and eventually one of them dies. There’s nothing here that you have never watch before and quite possibly not the last you expect to see. 


"Tears of Joy" Edition with Alternate Ending unlike the theatrical version has a more upbeat, happier ending.

Along for the Ride strangely touts Sparks’ next movie adaptation, The Longest Ride.    

Commentary by Michael Hoffman features a safe and predictable piece from the director of One Fine Day.

The extras also come with a Music Video and Theatrical Trailer


Visually speaking, detailing is excellent. Colours are warm and scenes are beautifully setup. With a couple of loud gunshots, the audio 5.1 is mostly front heavy with clear dialogue.  



Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Romance/Drama
Starring: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato, Gerald McRaney, Sean Bridgers, Sebastian Arcelus, Rob Mello, Hunter Burke, Jon Tenney
Director: Michael Hoffman
Rating: NC-16 (Scene of Intimacy)
Year Made: 2014
Official Website:


- ""Tears of Joy" Edition with Alternate Ending
- Along for the Ride
- Commentary by Michael Hoffman (Theatrical Version Only)
- "I Did" Music Video by Lady Antebellum


Languages: English/French
Subtitles: English/French

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 58 mins
Region Code: 1