The Best of Me, the ninth Hollywood adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, is in movie theaters now. It is expected to do OK at the box office, though Box Office Mojo does note that TBoM will likely have the lowest-grossing debut of any Sparks-based movie.
It is not doing so well, though, with critics. The movie currently has a 7% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which puts it right in line with cinematic masterpieces like Diane Keaton’s 2007 crap-fest Because I Said So, the unforgettably forgettable Basic Instinct 2 (Did you know they made a sequel to that? Do you care?), and, of course, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s Gigli, which is still the gold standard for bad movies in this century.
Of course, Nicholas Sparks adaptations never do too well with critics. Why is that? Adam Graham of the Detroit News breaks it down: “[Sparks adaptations are] a place where romance reigns supreme, if your idea of romance was frozen in time at age 11, and it’s a place where cheesiness rules, especially if you like your cheese covered in goop with a side order of sap.”
Keeping that in mind, here’s a handful of excerpts from particularly gleeful or hateful reviews of The Best of Me. Get set with a mug of your favorite Sunday morning beverage, and enjoy.
From Lauren Humphries-Brooks at We Got This Covered:
It is a total badness, an overarching, all-encompassing badness that more than once made me concerned that my viewing companion might actually be ill. It is a badness that stretches from its golden-hued opening on the world’s most beautiful oilrig, to its shallow, manipulative, tear-filled conclusion, and everything that lies between. It is a badness that even now, as I write these words, comes back to infect my eyes and ears and remind me that, no, movies are not all beautiful creations of intellectual minds; they’re not even all diverting entertainments.
From Adam Fendelmen at HollywoodChicago.com:
Instead of making you root for this couple, I was left asking myself if the film was instead telling people that marriage is a failed institution and cheating is just fine.
Rob Thomas (no, not that one) of Madison Movie has this to say:
I never thought a movie would make me long for the gritty realism of The Notebook, but The Best of Me certainly achieves that.
Susan Wloszczyna, carrying the torch over at RogerEbert.com, tries to warn you this way:
The Best of Me, the ninth Sparks-based film…makes 2004’s The Notebook seem like Casablanca….At least it is an excuse to see what [James] Marsden would look like as the construction worker in the Village People.
And Rebecca Murray, of ShowbizJunkies.com, sums up the lot of these reviews with a desperate plea:
The whys, whats, hows, and wheres of it all are unimportant; the only thing you need to know is that it’s all meant to make you cry like a baby. Which, unfortunately, there were actually people in the audience at the preview screening doing. Don’t fall for this nonsense, people! Don’t be sheep!
Have you seen The Best of Me? Are you willing to talk about it? Do you want to see this movie? Leave a comment and share your feelings and opinions on The Best of Me, Nicholas Sparks, the current state of Hollywood, or the differences between Sparks and Cormac McCarthy.