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The Best of Me

Michelle Monaghan as Amanda
James Marsden as Dawson
Luke Bracey as Younger Dawson
Liana Liberato as Young Amanda
Gerald McRaney as Tuck
Sean Bridgers as Tommy Cole
Caroline Goodall as Evelyn
Clarke Peters as Morgan Dupree
Sebastian Arcelus as Frank
Jon Tenney as Harvey Collier
Rob Mello as Ted Cole
Hunter Burke as Abee
Robby Rasmussen as Bobby / Aaron
Caroline Hebert as Young April
Ian Nelson as Jared

Directed by Michael Hoffman

After the death of their mutual friend Tuck, former lovers Amanda Collier (Michelle Monaghan) and Dawson Cole (James Marsden) are reunited after 21 years to reminisce and relive old times and how things went bad in their relationship. We see it all happen as it did decades earlier with the younger Amanda (Liana Liberator) falling for the hunky Dawson (Luke Bracey) even though they come from different social classes.

It may be smart for me to preface this review with the fact that "The Best of Me" is only the second Nicholas Sparks movie I've ever seen, having never read any of his books. From what I've seen, I expect this to be my last attempt to give Nicholas Sparks a chance.

The film opens on an oil rig where 39-year-old Dawson Cole (Marsden) is working when something blows up starting a fire that sends him 100 feet over the railing to the sea below. He somehow survives and learns that his friend and mentor Tuck has died at the age of 92 and has requested he return to the bayous of New Orleans where he reunites with Amanda (Monaghan), his girlfriend from 20 years ago.

We then flashback to 1992 to when Amanda and Dawson first met and fell in love. Something that will immediately jump out at anyone with eyes is that Luke Bracey looks nothing like a younger James Marsden and certainly doesn't look 20 years younger than Marsden. (I'm not even sure their eyes are the same color but Bracey seems quite a bit taller.) That alone can be fairly distracting but also the fact that everyone seems to be acting and dressing like it's the

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