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"THE BEST OF ME"
(2014) (James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan) (PG-13)


Alcohol/Drugs Heavy
Blood/Gross Stuff Moderate
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Heavy
Gun/Weapons Extreme
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes Moderate
Music (Scary/Tense) Mild
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Heavy
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Former teenage sweethearts are reunited more than twenty years later by the death of their old friend, but most contend with unresolved issues from their past.
PLOT:
More than twenty years ago, Amanda Collier (MICHELLE MONAGHAN) and Dawson Cole (JAMES MARSDEN) were teenage sweethearts, but a tragic turn of events resulted in their split. She went on to become a wife and mother, although her marriage to alcoholic Frank (SEBASTIAN ARCELUS) is anything but ideal, while Dawson ended up working on an oil rig but never got married. They've now been reunited by the will of their former friend, Tuck (GERALD McRANEY), upon his death, and try to resolve issues from their past.

We then flashback to 1992 when Dawson (LUKE BRACEY) is a teenager trying to escape from the abusive hillbilly upbringing at the hands of his father, Tommy (SEAN BRIDGERS), while Amanda (LIANA LIBERATO) is a flirty girl from a rich family. One day, the two meet, and Dawson's cousin Bobby (ROBBY RASMUSSEN) -- who's recently got his girlfriend pregnant -- says he'd be crazy not to pursue her, but it's Amanda who sets her sights on Dawson and takes a proactive approach toward him.

After yet another bout of physical abuse from his father, Dawson runs away from home and happens upon a detached garage and stays there overnight to get out of the rain. The next morning, he's awakened at gunpoint by Tuck who quickly lowers his guard once he learns he's Tommy's boy and sees the swollen black eye on his face.

From that point on, he becomes Dawson's surrogate father and protector from his family, all while the romance between Dawson and Amanda quickly blossoms. But Dawson can't fully escape his past, a fact that shows up not only back in 1992, but also in the present day once he and Amanda start rekindling their romance.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into other adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels, or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexuality, violence, some drug content and brief strong language.


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