Title: The Best of Me
Writer: J. Mills Goodloe, Will Fetters, Novel by Nicholas Sparks
Director: Michael Hoffman
Major Actors: Michelle Monaghan (Amanda Collier), James Marsden (Dawson Cole), Liana Liberato (Young Amanda), Luke Bracey (Young Dawson)
Year Released: 2014
Story: The Best of Me is a 2014 film about two, old high school sweet hearts, Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier, who reunite after many years, for a mutual friend’s passing in their hometown. This reunion between the pair re-opens wounds, and their love for each other is reignited. In the end, they fall victim to the darkness that pushed them apart many years ago.
Plot: The film starts out with adult Dawson and Amanda in their current lives. Dawson is involved in an on-the-job accident, that should have killed him. After his hospital stay and back at home, he receives a phone call about his friend’s passing, Amanda receives the same phone call.
They both reunite in their hometown for their friend’s funeral and lawyer meeting. They both receive things in their friend’s will and must work together to pack up their friend’s house. During their encounters old feelings surface, questions, and answer are sought. All-the-while their love for each other strengthens, which never died, while hurdling obstacles-Amanda is married with children.
When they finally decide to take the plunge and pursue each other, obstacles set in their way. Amanda deals with family emergency, having to tell her husband she wants to leave and is still in love with Dawson, and a tragic ending to her plans. Dawson continues to help himself, and others, while saving a family member from the family drug business, resulting in a tragic ending for Dawson. In the end, love continues to live.
Non-Linear Presentation: This film follows a non-linear presentation based on the present beginning of film, with flashbacks, back to current present. It all flows chronologically, the flashbacks cause the non-linear presentation, it isn’t set in “real time” the entire film. This decision was crucial to the film’s understanding by the audience.
If the flashbacks didn’t occur, the audience, and understanding of the film would have been lost if the film moved on in “real time” after they reunited. If the film would have started from beginning (flashbacks), to “real time” a lot of the film would have had to been modified, and the overall impact of the story would have been different. The flashbacks give the movie a twist, suspense, and keeps the audience’s attention, and guessing what is to come next.