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Friday, 31 October 2014

The Best of Me

There is soppy cinema and there is really really really soppy cinema.  Michael Hoffman’s The Best of Me falls in the latter category – and quite comfortably at that.  Hoffman’s track record includes the George Clooney RomCom called One Fine Day.  He now forays into mainstream romance with a writer who is without doubt the King of Sop – Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle).

Now for those who know me and have been reading my reviews for a while, you know that this review is going to be slightly biased because of my public acceptance of being a sucker for soppy love stories.  But even my unrequited love for sop was challenged this time around – especially towards the end which was as Bollywood as Hollywood can every get.

Dawson Cole (James Marsden / Luke Bracey) works on an oil rig in the middle of nowhere.  An explosion throws him off the rig but not before he saves a couple of his mates from near death.  A 100 foot drop into ice cold water knocks him off but he is miraculously saved and wakes up at a hospital.  Somewhere in between he sees an apparition of a gorgeous girl in red.

Cut to Amanda Collier (Michelle Monaghan / Liana Liberato), a housewife and mother to an 18 year boy.  Her husband isn’t the King of Husbands per se.  Her son is about to leave for college.  Amanda receives a call informing her of the demise of her very close friend and mentor – Tuck (Gerald McRaney) at the ripe young age of 92.  A similar call is placed to Dawson.

No points for guessing the rest of the movie at this stage.  It is of course the back story of Amanda and Dawson (read rich girl and poor guy respectively).  Rich girl is smitten by Poor Guy when the latter’s cousin’s car breaks down.  Rich Girls friends poke fun. Poor Guy maintains calm.  Rich Girl woos Poor Guy.  They fall hopelessly in love till something happens and they don’t see each other for the next 21 years.

A standard Romance movie that has some strong performances.  Other than the Bollywood type ending that you can predict with about 12-15 minutes to go in the movie, there is nothing terribly different.  But if you are a sucker for Romaans like this writer then ensure that you take your girlfriend with you when you watch it.

A better option might be to download the movie (apparently it is already available online).  Ensure that it is just you and your significant other.  Have some tissue (not lots) for the soppy moments if you are the crying kinds.  Curl up in a blanket and watch.  This movie should have actually been released in 3.5 months and not now. 6 on 10.  Definitely watchable but beware of the end.

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