Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 118 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 14+. A fairly typical adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel: lots of romantic stuff, teenage and adult makeout sessions, constant male shirtlessness, a few sex scenes, and a pregnant high schooler; some cursing; a rough family who drinks, deals drugs, and is emotionally and physically abusive; and some violence, including some beatings and deaths. So much melodrama!
‘The Best of Me’ is yet another overwrought Nicholas Sparks adaptation, all about tragic love, bad romantic timing, and Southern class warfare. It would simply be typically silly if not for the final twist, which pushes it into egregiously horrendous territory.
By Roxana Hadadi
Does Nicholas Sparks actually believe in happiness? At this point, nine of the author’s novels have been turned into films, and they practically all include fatal illnesses, untimely deaths, tragic romance, cruel parents, dire socioeconomic differences, and, of course, love (mostly) lost. Of his most recent adaptations, “Dear John” had a dying husband; “The Last Song” had a dying father and class differences; “The Lucky One” had a bad military experience and an abusive husband; “Safe Haven” had an abusive husband and ghosts (yes, ghosts); and his latest, “The Best of Me,” has a dying father figure, class differences, and an abusive husband. It’s like a game of cliched plot bingo, and we’re all losers.