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Going in:

All I knew about this movie was that it was a Nickolas Sparks film and the only non-cartoon in the small town I was visiting.  I loved Dear John and hoped to find the same affection for the newest Sparks.


I’m sad to say, contrary to its title, this was not the “best” of anything. Using the tired storyline of teenage love lost then found, this version contained way too many traumatic events, not enough dialogue for relationship development, and too many love scenes.

When we were teenagers, love seemed easy and perfect and our innocence let us believe anything could come true. Best of Me hit that point well. It jumped from present day, showing the main characters current lives, to 21 years ago, when they fell in love. The film successfully portrayed how life wore on the adults. We see how their mistakes scarred them. This had me considering what scars I carry from the past that I can acknowledge and let go. But the constant mirror of doing exactly what they did as children when they reunited as adults became boring.

Every relationship was shallowly developed, from the young loves to Tuck to the marriage and mother/son in present day. They would have done themselves a favor to cut out a few love scenes (we got the point) and add in more dialogue.

I also hate the premise of a woman in an unhappy marriage turning to the dream of rekindling her first love rather than grounding herself in reality, doing difficult relationship work and restoring her marriage. I’m not against the lost-love premise all together, but if we are reaching so far into idealism already, couldn’t she be a widow or even already divorced to soften the morality blow a smidge?

I recognize this was a Nickolas Sparks movie. That’s why we went. But the amount of trauma-drama was ridiculous, even for him. In the last 30 minutes, it began to play like a Sparks parody due to the absurd tragedy domino effect. The attempted emotional climax fell flat as it was predictable and unmoving to an audience who barely attached to the characters, due to short-comings already mentioned.

This was by-far the worst (not best) Nickolas Sparks film, leaving me disappointed and extremely annoyed.

Rated PG-13 for favoring sex over story

The Best of Me Review
The Good
  • Decent less-known actors (young mains)
  • Prompted mild internalization
The Bad/Ugly
  • Pathetic relationship development
  • Too much trauma-drama
  • Repetitive
1.3Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

About The Author


I'm mastercritic's little sister--you know, the adorable one everyone loves? Mastercritic picked on me plenty as a kid but he eventually became one of my best friends from whom I gleemed appreciation of the arts and more. Aside from my love of tv and film, I'm a wife, mom, freelance designer, and natural health enthusiast.

  • http://mastercritic.com/ Tim

    A new record low score here at MC – this movie sounds baaaaaaaad!

  • Justin

    Thanks for writing this review — now I have something to show Molly before she puts it in her queue!

    • Leslie Bundick

      When I first read your comment, my instinct was to apologize to your wife. My second thought was that I’m doing you both a favor. She’ll probably watch it. I would, just because it was Sparks. But hopefully I’ve lowered her expectations enough that she’ll wait until it’s on Netflix and watch it as a throw-away when there’s nothing else to do.