Check your calendars. Gasp. Blink. Check them again. Yes, it’s true. It’s been over a year since we’ve had a brand new Nicholas Sparks film open in a theater (and a heart, awww). For awhile there, it looked as if author Sparks was going to get a tidy little late winter/early spring thing going ‐ Safe Haven opened on Valentine’s Day of last year, The Lucky One opened in April 0f 2012, and 2010 saw a double dose, with The Last Song hitting theaters in March and Dear John opening in February. There was so much Sparks ‐ for a time. Now, however, we’ve been left with the bitter memories of Safe Haven (how safe is it when ghosts are just wandering around, huh, Sparks?) and the distant dream that one day, perhaps soon, we’d get another Sparks film.
Rest your little heads, because that next Sparks film is here, and The Best of Me comes complete with an eye-pleasing cast (James Marsden! Michelle Monaghan! Gerald McRaney!), the director of Soapdish (Michael Hoffman, and we do not consider that an insult, as Soapdish is brilliant) and a time-spanning romance. Ah, smells like Sparks. Let’s take a look, shall we?
If you didn’t glean the mechanics of the film’s plot from this first trailer ‐ and really, how could you, there’s very little of the film’s story here ‐ Monaghan and Marsden play former high school sweethearts who are brought back together after twenty years apart (yes, Marsden reminds us of those twenty years, and we bet it will come up quite often in the film) after a close friend dies.
This all seems normal enough, but the “twist” of the film is that “soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today.” What are those forces? Knowing Sparks, it could be anything! Cancer! Alcoholic family members! Other horrible diseases! We’re betting it might just be Monaghan’s dad, who seems kind of surly.
The film will also apparently feature a nice chunk of time devoted to the early part of their story, which is sort of cute and the kind of thing that Sparks seems to like writing best. Liana Liberato actually makes a pretty good younger version of Monahan, but Luke Bracey’s spin on young Marsden is pretty weird, because Bracey kind of already looks like a grown up, even though he’s only twenty-four. He really could have just played the whole role, age be damned. Really, there’s a cross-fade in this trailer that’s meant to drive home that Liberato is Monaghan (totally works!) and Bracey is Marsden (laughably does not work!), and it’s easily the weirdest bit here.
Eh, who cares, Marsden is dreamy, and it will be nice to see him star in a Sparks film where he might actually get the girl this time (yes, remember The Notebook? We all remember The Notebook).
The Best of Me opens on October 17th. [ComingSoon]