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"THE BEST OF ME"--A MOVIE REVIEW

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In “The Best Of Me” it is 1992 and Amanda (Liana Liberato) and Dawson (Luke Bracey--looking too old) become high school sweethearts. She comes from a wealthy Louisiana family while he is described as ‘poor white trash’ by his father (Sean Bridgers), with her father, Jon Tenney, trying to buy Dawson off, not succeeding. For unknown reasons Dawson leaves the town and Liana.
Twenty years later we meet Dawson (James Marsden) who is now an oil rig worker who just escaped death and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) is married, has a son, lost a younger daughter to leukemia and whose husband (Sebastian Arcelus) is a drunkard.
Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, with the screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters, we know true love won’t run smooth. Along the way we meet Dawson’s two redneck brothers played byHunter Burke and Rob Mello, Gerald McRaney, as Tuck, his mentor and the reason for Amanda and Dawson getting together again all these years later. The writers throw in all the cliché twists and turns that good romance novels/films have hopefully in paying off with the audience in tears. There are two surprise twists that unfortunately are telegraphed before they happened.
The soundtrack tries to work on the heartstrings while Louisiana is photographed in all its hanging moss glory, skies with millions of stars, the actors looking their best and
A HUGE mistake, which might not have been as obvious had the movie not constantly shifted between 1992 and 2012, is the fact that the younger Dawson, not only looking too old, has no resemblance to the older Dawson plus none to his father and two brothers. At least the young and older Amanda both have long curled hair so there is some resemblance. All the actors do what is required of them and there is chemistry between the younger Amanda and Dawson along with the older pair.
“The Best Of Me” is not an unforgettable romance movie but gives the audience what it comes for, though logic has to be left at the door when walking in. Having to choose between this movie and “Fury” we made a good choice.


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