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On The Sofa The Best Of Me

Director: Michael Hoffman

Writers:  J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters

Stars: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

Plot:  Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, Amanda (Monaghan is present day, Liberato is past) and Dawson (Marsden is present day, Bracey is past) are soul mates.  They meet as teens and have very different backgrounds.  An accident forces them to part ways, but the passing of a mutual friend brings them back together.  After 20 years, can they make it work or has too much damage been done?

Review:  In most cases, novels into films is a sore spot for me.  The film maker will take the bones of the book, but leaves out the soul.  When it’s a Nicholas Sparks’ novel that has been made into a film, that is never the case.  There have been many conversions; The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, The Lucky One and Safe Haven to name a few.  All of these have been a success, because the heart and soul of the book have gone into the film.  This film is clever enough to keep you interested, the reveal of what drove Amanda and Dawson apart comes further in the film than you’d expect.  There is a dramatic twist at the end, and the ending is not what you’d expect.  I thought the young actors in this film (Liberato and Bracey) are both ones to watch, particularly Liberato.  Marsden and Monaghan have great chemistry in the film, both have been part of huge blockbusters.  Marsden is famed for X-Men, Hairspray and 27 Dresses, as well as having a role in another Sparks’ film, The Notebook.  Monaghan is famed for True Detective, Eagle Eye and Source Code.  The music by Aaron Zigman is perfect, he also did The Notebook.

Rating: 9 out of 10.  Just make sure you have some tissues handy when you watch it.

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