While I am a fan of two of its stars, James Marsden (X:Men, Superman Returns) and Michelle Monahan (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Mission: Impossible III) ,I was far more impressed with the actors who portrayed their younger versions for the film, Luke Bracey (The November Man, Point Break) and Liana Liberato (If I Stay, Free Ride). To be fair though the story line was much tighter for the younger stars which helped.
The movie begins by showing the two characters, Amanda and Dawson, as adults; Amanda, a mother and unhappy housewife, and Dawson, a worker on an oil rig. Amanda and Dawson, high school sweethearts, are notified that their mutual friend, Tuck, played by Gerald McRaney (Major Dad), has died. They both return to their hometown to take care of his estate.
There are continual flashbacks showing the two and their romance through their younger selves. We learn theirs is a typical rich girl meets boy from the wrong side of the tracks story. Tuck has taken in Dawson and living with him allows Dawson the chance to let their romance grow. Tragic circumstances in their lives eventually tear the two apart and they move on separately.
As the movie progresses, it is clear the two never fell out of love. Dawson admits that Amanda is the only one he has ever loved. Amanda, of course, although also in love, is torn over her feelings as she is married and still hurt over how their relationship ended.
The movie, I admit, is quite, well, sappy and dragged in parts. But if you are into Nicholas Sparks books, it is a nice romantic film, although extremely predictable. Even the events at the end, which caused my friend to throw her book across the room is not a new concept. Watching films based on his books, they always seem to make references to other movies we've all watched over the years.
The Blu-ray comes with a Digital HD version that can be redeemed online. It also features an alternative ending to the film. Scenery is beautiful and easy to watch with a Widescreen 2.40:1 viewing option. The sound quality is English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Additional features of the Blu-ray include an interview with Michelle Monahan and James Marsden and Liana and Luke. There is also commentary from director Michael Hoffman and deleted scenes. For those into music videos, Lady Antebellum's music video, "I Did", is also included.
While The Best of Me isn't the best, I give it a solid C+.