“You want me to fall back in love with you. How can I do that if I never stopped?” –Amanda
Nicholas Spark’s most recent novel to movie, The Best of Me, proves that “soul mates” aren’t defined by a wedding, starting a family, or even truly being together. Sometimes soul mates, no matter how much they want to, just can’t be together, but somehow, someway, they never forget each other. For instance, Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell in love in high school. Their love was a unique one filled with obstacles, but the relationship fell apart when a disaster occurs the night of Prom.
“I had so many plans. I don’t know what happened.” –Amanda “Life.” -Dawson
Fast forward. 21 years to be exact. Dawson is working on an oil rig while Amanda is unhappy married to an alcoholic with two children and a memory of her late baby girl. After an accident that he shouldn’t have survived, Dawson returns home, only to get a call that his father-figure, Tuck, passed away. Meanwhile, Amanda gets the same call, so they both return home, to the place they fell in love. Obviously, sparks fly when they are reunited, and despite the pain that has built up over the years, they find themselves, once again, in love with each other. However, Amanda has a husband and a family that she has obligations to, so she goes back home, leaving Dawson at the mercy of his abusive family. Don’t worry, no ending spoilers here.
“I missed you getting all mad at me.” -Dawson
The film was extremely well-made and well-acted, though it did not follow the novel completely. The discrepancies didn’t bother me much honestly, and I think I liked the movie storyline a bit better, which I feel bad saying. Both the combinations of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan (older Dawson and Amanda) and Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato (younger Dawson and Amanda) were magical.
My one criticism is the stupid kissing in the rain scene. Not only do the majority of Mr. Sparks’s films have this scene, but it’s also the definition of cliché. Honestly, if you kiss in the rain, you aren’t succeeding in being romantic. You’re just going to get pneumonia, and then, the love story is over.
I loved the usage of Lady Antebellum’s music throughout the film, and I really thought that the group’s tunes fit the storyline perfectly. Also, I have to mention that the song written especially for the film entitled “I Did with You” is one of my favorites. Way to go, Lady A.
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Back to the film, I guess I have to admit that I cried four times and certain scenes absolutely broke my heart into two pieces. One of my favorite aspects of the film was the faux father-son relationship between Dawson and Tuck during Dawson's youth. Because Dawson came from an abusive family, he had never felt loved. With the addition of Tuck to his life, he became someone’s son, someone’s family.
I think that The Best of Me teaches us that you never forget your first love even after life gets in the way and just keeps chugging along. The film shows us that there’s so much more to love that a kiss or a skip of a heartbeat. Love, true love, has no definition because of how different it can be for each one of us. No, Dawson and Amanda never had the life together that we all wanted them to, but they got something better. They got the best of each other. Happy kommenting :)