There is a famous saying about writing which is "write what you know". If that is true then Nicholas Sparks must know a LOT of boys from the wrong side of the tracks fall in love with rich girls in the Deep South.
Sparks has written seventeen romantic novels, nine of which have been adapted by Hollywood into the same film... don't believe me? Just look at the posters...
Filmgoers could play their own "Choose Your Own Nicholas Sparks Adventure" based on what they think will happen at various points in the film. For example:
The male lead is invited for a private chat with the girl's father. Will he -
A) Give his blessing to their union?
B) Invite him to watch the big local sports game?
C) Tell him to stay away from his daughter?
The male lead bumps into some bad characters from his based during Act 2. Will they -
A) Meet up for a beer and let bygones be bygones?
B) Break out into a West Side Story song and dance number?
C) Return late in Act 3 to serve as the required obstacle to the couple getting together which has so far been non-existent?
Yes there are three choices but there is only one real outcome here.
Sadly, as with all the Hollywood adaptations of Sparks' novels there is only the illusion of free will as the ending has been determined before the end of the first reel.
However the biggest problem with the film isn't its predictability but trying to believe that the young version of Dawson Cole played by Luke Bracey would grow up to look like James Marsden in 20 years.
Bracey looks like he is over 30 years old in the film but would have been convincing if the older version of Dawson had been played by Stephen Moyer instead.
Ultimately The Best Of Me is a far cry from being the "best" of cinema and is more like a case of being up Dawson's Creek without a paddle.