|The Best of Me|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Hoffman|
|Produced by||Justin Burns|
Denise Di Novi
|Written by||Will Fetters|
J. Mills Goodloe
|Based on||The Best of Me|
by Nicholas Sparks
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Matt Chesse|
|Distributed by||Relativity Media|
|Box office||$35.9 million|
The Best of Me is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Hoffman and written by Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Nicholas Sparks' 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan with Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.
Alternating between scenes of their relationship in 1992 with their current lives separately, the film shows the story of Dawson and Amanda.
Dawson Cole works on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. An explosion on the job nearly kills him, throwing him into the water, but miraculously he survives. Months later, after recovering, Dawson learns that his close friend and surrogate father, Tuck, has died and returns home for the first time in almost twenty years to carry out Tuck's final wishes. When he arrives at his house, Dawson is surprised to find that Tuck also arranged for Dawson high school girlfriend, Amanda, to join him. It seems that Tuck's intention was that Dawson and Amanda would perhaps rekindle their former romance. However, Amanda is now married.
Dawson was born into a notorious backwoods criminal family with an abusive father. In flashbacks, it is revealed that as a teenager, he left his father's home and stayed overnight in Tuck Hostetler's garage. Tuck, a local mechanic who had recently lost his wife, allowed Dawson to live with him and eventually considered him a son of his own. Dawson and Amanda attended the same high school and began dating, soon falling in love. Before the prom, Dawson's father and brothers beat Tuck. Dawson, angered, went to his fathers house with the intent of killing him with Tuck's rifle. However, they scuffled, and Dawson's cousin, an expectant teen father, was accidentally killed. In exchange for a lighter sentence, Dawson testified against his father and brothers. Since Dawson would not be paroled for another four years, he cut ties with Amanda, forcing her to choose college over staying with him.
After Tuck's death, Amanda and Dawson meet with Tuck's lawyer and learn that they are to scatter Tuck's ashes at a cottage he owned with his wife. Later, Dawson and Amanda spend a passionate night together. They have lunch and discuss their plans, during which Dawson learns that Amanda had continued to try to visit him in prison. The following day, Amanda decides to return to her family and her strained marriage, to meet her family commitments.
When Amanda goes home, Dawson remains at Tuck's to restore the garden. However, she later decides to split up with her husband, and she leaves Dawson a voicemail expressing her love. Before anything more can happen between them, Dawson is attacked and almost killed by his brothers, having been almost pushed in front of a moving train. Dawson knocks out his brothers, but after calling 911, he is spotted by his father across the railroad tracks and is shot dead.
Meanwhile, Amanda gets a call that her son has been in a car accident. On arriving at the hospital, the doctor tells her he needs a new heart. That same night, the doctors tell her they had found a donor.
While sleeping, Amanda has a dream of Dawson sitting on the side of her bed when she is awoken by the doorbell being rung by her mother, who has come to tell her that Dawson had been shot and killed by his father.
One year later, Amanda gets a call from her son telling her he found out who the donor was and that maybe she knew him: Dawson Cole. Shocked and happy upon hearing this, she drives back to the house Tuck had left them. It is there that she reads the letter Dawson had left her, telling her how much he loved her. She proceeds to take a walk through the garden Dawson had beautifully arranged for her before he died.
- James Marsden as Dawson Cole
- Michelle Monaghan as Amanda Collier-Reynolds
- Sebastian Arcelus as Frank Reynolds
- Gerald McRaney as Tuck Hostetler
- Sean Bridgers as Tommy Cole
- Rob Mello as Ted Cole
- Hunter Burke as Abee Cole
- Jon Tenney as Harvey Collier
- Caroline Goodall as Evelyn Collier
- Ian Nelson as Jared Reynolds
- Schuyler Fisk as Older April
- Robby Rasmussen as Bobby Cole / Aaron Cole
- Julia Lashae as Clara
On June 17, 2011, Warner Bros. acquired the film rights to the novel The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. On March 15, 2012, it was announced that the studio had tapped screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe to adapt the book.
On September 27, it was reported that Warner Bros. was in final talks with Michael Hoffman to direct the film, Will Fetters was set to rewrite the screenplay, marking his second adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and Denise Di Novi was set to produce the film, along with Sparks and Sparks' agent Theresa Park as co-producers, marking Di Novi's fifth film collaboration with Sparks, Sparks' second time producing a film adaptation of one of his novels and Park's production debut. On July 25, 2013, Relativity Media acquired the distribution rights from Warner Bros., marking the studio's third film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. On October 22, Michelle Monaghan was cast to play the female lead Amanda Collier, and Ryan Kavanaugh was to co-produce the film. On October 24, the studio set the film for an October 17, 2014 release.
On January 9, 2014, the studio offered James Marsden, who co-starred in the 2004 adaptation of Sparks' 1996 novel The Notebook to play the male lead Dawson Cole, replacing Paul Walker after his death. On January 28, Liana Liberato joined the film's cast as the younger version of Monaghan's character, Amanda Collier. On February 12, Luke Bracey was added to the cast to play the younger version of Marsden's character, Dawson Cole. On March 12, Sebastian Arcelus and Gerald McRaney joined the cast of the film. Arcelus played Frank Reynolds, Amanda's husband and father of her children, while McRaney played Tuck, a widower who takes in young Dawson and becomes a friend and father-figure to him. On March 25, Jon Tenney was added to the cast to play Harvey Collier, the father of Amanda.
Principal photography began on March 6, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana for a 42-day shoot. On April 30 and May 1 the filming took place in the downtown Covington area. Also filming took place in parts of Pearl River, Louisiana.
|The Best of Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||October 7, 2014|
|Label||EMI Nashville, Relativity Music|
|Singles from The Best of Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
The soundtrack album for the film, released on October 7, 2014, features original music primarily from the genre of country music, recorded by artists such as Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, David Nail, Colbie Caillat, Kip Moore, Eli Young Band, Eric Paslay, Thompson Square, and Thomas Rhett. "I Did with You" by Lady Antebellum was released on September 8, 2014 as the first promotional single from the soundtrack. The band's other contribution, "Falling for You" is also available on the deluxe edition of their fifth studio album, 747.
|1.||"I Did with You"||Lady Antebellum||3:15|
|2.||"Dream Girl"||Hunter Hayes||3:39|
|3.||"Hold On"||SHEL and Gareth Dunlop||3:26|
|4.||"In Love Again"||Colbie Caillat||3:31|
|5.||"The Way Things Go"||Thomas Rhett||4:06|
|6.||"Borrowed Time"||Thompson Square||4:12|
|7.||"Lead Me"||Kip Moore||3:50|
|8.||"Love Is a Liar"||Kacey Musgraves||3:15|
|9.||"Falling for You"||Lady Antebellum||3:54|
|10.||"Rain from Heaven"||Eric Paslay||3:58|
|11.||"All the Way"||David Nail||2:56|
|12.||"Unchanged"||Eli Young Band||3:35|
|13.||"Sweet Jane"||Cowboy Junkies||3:27|
|US Billboard 200||52|
|US Top Country Albums (Billboard)||11|
|US Top Soundtracks (Billboard)||4|
The Best of Me opened in North America on October 17, 2014 across 2,936 theaters. It has grossed $26.8 million in North America and $9.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $35.9 million.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $10 million finishing fifth at the box office behind Fury, Gone Girl, The Book of Life and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, making it the worst opening for a Nicholas Sparks' novel adaptation.
The Best of Me has been panned by critics. As of June 2020[update], the film holds a 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 82 reviews with an average rating of 3.64 out of 10. The site's consensus reads, "At nine films and counting, the line between Nicholas Sparks film fans and detractors is clear, and The Best of Me will change few minds on either side of the divide." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 29 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave The Best of Me an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
The Best of Me was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 3, 2015. At the same time, a "Tears of Joy" edition of the film with a running time of 115 minutes and an alternated ending was released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
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