Leon van Nierop
1 minute read
26 Dec 2014
10:00 am

Movie review: Best of Me (trailer)

Leon van Nierop

The name Nicholas Sparks will automatically attract a number of people who may use this review to wrap some fatty chips in.

A screengrab from the movie.

He has a following and has established himself as a popular writer of bestselling romance novels – and no scathing review or snobbish witticism will make a dollar of a difference to his bank balance. You are either quickly seduced by Sparks and remain loyal forever or you steer clear of anything he is involved in.

If the name is not familiar to you, he wrote The Notebook, which worked as one of the most romantic movies of all time, but he was also responsible for unlikely love stories like A Walk to Remember, Dear John and, especially, The Lucky One.

His books follow the same pattern. Two star-crossed lovers meet. A tragedy ensues in which the hero often lands in a war situation or jail. With the modern-day Romeo and Juliet separated, the heroine usually marries someone else, only to meet the hero again after he has served his time. But now there are so many stumbling blocks on their road to fulfilment. The hero is frequently played by a super hunk like Channing Tatum or Zac Efron.

There you go. You have the recipe for Best of Me. The settings are stunning and large Southern trees guard their romantic secrets along beautiful rivers or swamps. As in other Sparks novels, nature is the perfect backdrop for tragic love stories to unfold against. You cuddle up to the far-fetched, syrupy plot. But then it goes a step further with a twist in the tale.

Best of Me is definitely not for cynics, but for those who believe that in a world of romance nothing is impossible – as long as it’s beautiful, soppy and overtly idealistic.