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the best of me reaches to pull at the heartstrings but it doesn't even muster to touch them in the first place. a film that is this formulaic in its narrative and its form has a tough road ahead of it if it wants to be a good film. unfortunately, this film falls way short of that. if the film insists on being so conventional in those elements, the execution of those elements and everything around it has to be so well done that it overcomes the conventionality of the rest of the film. yet, the execution of this film rarely even reaches adequate and what we are left with is a conventional film that lacks anything that makes it stand out from all of the rest of the mediocre entries into this particular genre.
the chemistry between the two leads is an absolute must to make this film work. the audience has to believe and feel the passion and the chemistry between the two leads. it has to carry the film in a way that it wouldn't have to in a less conventional film. in the best of me, that chemistry is missing. none of the actors have any chemistry with one another. the film tells the tale of two individuals at two different points in their life. unfortunately, neither pair of actors has much chemistry with one another which makes their relationship feel forced and the performances feel stilted and out of place.
this presents a bigger problem because we, as audience members, have to find some reason to latch on to and to believe that these two were destined for one another. that second chance that the film builds it's thematic content around has to be believable. but the lack of chemistry between the actors left me wondering if they wouldn't be better off with other people anyways.
i guess i just found everything to be trying to hard to reach the romantic melodrama ideal rather than just trying to tell the story there. yes, the acting is subpar and no characters have any chemistry with one another. that is a major problem with this film. but, honestly, it just felt as if it were trying to hard. some of the story threads never really meshed with the other ones that were thrown out there. the ending seems forced on there to be more melodramatic. at its worst the ending seems manipulative and at its best it just doesn't work very well.
in the end, everything here felt rushed and not fully realized. there might be a story and execution somewhere in there that rivals what was accomplished in the notebook but the best of me tries too hard to accomplish that by any means necessary that it loses track of its own story and fails to tell that in a convincing manner. even the cinematography ends up being all washed out and the colors seem duller than they should be. i'm all for this type of film and the melodrama that comes with it if it comes more naturally. this is an example of a film that couldn't do it naturally but tries really hard to do it anyways. for a film that is all about second chances, the creative team behind this film could have used a second chance to make this film.
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