The Best of Me

Rated 2.0

Two high-school sweethearts (James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan) are reunited after 21 years when they return home for the funeral of an elderly mentor (Gerald McRaney). Flashbacks show their younger selves (Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato) and trace their starred-crossed romance. Directed by Michael Hoffman and adapted by J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters from Nicholas Sparks' novel, the movie is the standard Sparks three-hanky sob-fest and will no doubt pass muster with his fans. The stars are attractive, but two of them (take your pick) are miscast: Bracey and Liberato look nothing like Marsden and Monaghan, nor do they look 21 years younger. The idea that this is the same couple past and present is not credible; we're watching two romances, not one, and the mismatch sinks the movie. Pretty scenery, though.