Every generation has its great love story, a title for which The Best of Me is not in the running.
At least, not according to the many critics who roundly panned the Nicholas Sparks adaptation.
Even though 67 percent of moviegoers said they enjoyed the film, Rotten Tomatoes shows that only eight percent of movie reviewers felt the same way.
One of the harshest critiques came by way of ABC News reviewer David Blaustein, who gave the film one out of five stars.
Blaustein opened by saying, “‘The Best of Me,’ the latest film to be based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, is so embarrassingly bad, it hurts to write about it.”
He pulls no punches when talking about the film, going on to say that The Best of Me is “badly cast” with “ham-handed dialogue” and “far-fetched plot points.” He even insulted the sound quality!
Joseph Airdo of The Examiner is far more forgiving.
“‘The Best of Me” is a remarkably romantic and tremendously touching motion picture. Director Michael Hoffman brings Nicholas Sparks’s novel to the big screen with spectacular beauty, filling viewers with warmth and a renewed belief in fate…even if the end-result is painfully bittersweet.”
This positive spin by Airdo is rare, as most reviewers are content to pan the romance film for being long, cliched, and unoriginal. The Guardian‘s Michael Smith did give it props for including fighting and shooting scenes.
However, Smith too noted that elements of the movie were “predictable.”
It’s odd to think that another Nicholas Sparks-based classic was released nearly 10 years ago that received a completely different reception.
The Notebook (in which James Marsden had a role, albeit as a third wheel) was a much more beloved take on the “star-crossed lovers” theme. It enjoyed 52 percent positive reviews from critics. While not enough to garner a “fresh” rating, it seems in retrospect it was a much more respected weeper than The Best of Me.
Both are based on novels written by the same author, and both are for the hopelessly romantic while drawing on the same themes.
How can one be more positively regarded than the other?
Time is likely the answer since in many reviews, The Best of Me is criticized for simply failing to bring anything new to the table.
There is no twist that romance fans and reviewers didn’t see coming. There’s nothing new about the main characters, and the acting apparently was just not able to pump new life into tired tropes.
Do you think The Best of Me deserves so much negative criticism?
[Image Credit: MOVIECLIPS Trailers]