Michelle Monaghan might be the best part of The Best of Me--at least according to a review published by ABC News earlier this weekend. The latest of a few films based on books by Nicholas Sparks, the review calls the casting 'bad,' the dialogue 'ham-handed,' and the digital manipulation of the film 'obvious.'
Twenty-one years after going their separate ways, former high school sweethearts Dawson--played by James Marsden--and Amanda--played by Michelle Monaghan--are reunited after the death of an older mutual friend named Tuck. Dawson is a loner who works on an oil rig. He reads books about philosophy when time allows. Amanda lives an existence akin to that of one of the Stepford Wives characters, playing the part of the dutiful, beautiful, stay-at-home mom to a teen son. She, of course, lives in a loveless marriage.
The ABC review seriously disses actor Luke Bracey, who plays Dawson in his teen years.
"There’s nothing wrong with Bracey as an actor, but this has to be one of the worst pieces of casting I’ve ever seen. He’s supposed to be the high school version of Dawson, but have you ever met a high school student with crow’s feet?" they write.
The review goes on to call Bracey a 'distraction,' because he in no way resembles the grown Dawson.
"...it's a cinematic disaster," the review reads.
Michelle Monaghan is pretty much the only actor in The Best of Me that isn't shredded to pieces in this review.
The Guardian isn't quite as harsh in its review of the acting in The Best of Me. With regard to the film's plot, it doesn't come up with anything more encouraging than saying it is 'universally panned,' and that it is a 'predictable, weepy romance.' With regard to the actors, their review reads as follows:
"This negative reaction is really unfair to James Marsden, Luke Bracey, Michelle Monaghan, and Liana Liberato, not to mention Gerald McRaney who should get some sort of gong for his work in this film, all these actors brought much to this predictable weepy romance."
What more can people honestly expect from a Nicholas Sparks film? His books are love stories, and love stories more often than not translate on to the big screen as weepy and predictable.
— The Best Of Me Movie (@BestOfMeMovie) October 17, 2014
If you think Michelle Monaghan is gorgeous (she is) and James Marsden is sexy (he is), then by all means check out The Best of Me. If you're looking for Academy Award-winning performances and cinematic brilliance--wait until it's available 'On-Demand.'