Starring: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, Caroline Goodall, Luke Bracey (Rated M 118 min).
Ever since An Officer and a Gentleman swept me up where I belong and Pretty in Pink melted my eyes with tears of joy, it’s no secret that I’m quite partial to a decent chick-flick.
Author Nicholas Sparks is a connoisseur on evoking emotions and delivering purity of heart within his literature setting the benchmark high with The Notebook and more recently The Lucky One. This latest Hollywood treatment from another in a long list of best sellers has all the trademarks which have made the previous adaptations so adored by hopeless romantics. It is unavoidable not to cry during this.
This time it’s true love in two timelines when high school sweethearts Dawson (James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) reunite in their old hometown. Half of the movie is told in flashback during their teenage years, developing friendship of trust evolving into a blossoming romance but you can just sense something will tear them apart. Cue sobbing and the need for tissues.
An effective twist in the story took me by surprise, something I am not going to reveal here, however for the most part you know what you’re going to get, all the clichés are here. From the tranquility of a glistening lake setting to kissing in the rain, hearts are bound to be beating.
No stranger to the Sparks universe having appeared in The Notebook, James Marsden is a talented actor playing a different kind of Prince Charming than his role in Enchanted. Dawson has secrets, a damaged past is evident, the rough around the edges guy screams trouble but will still cause hearts to beat rapidly with his beautiful words and even more so I assume, after disrobing.
Potentially a superstar in the making, mature beyond her years, young Liana Liberato has stood out in previous films Trust & If I Stay. As the young Amanda, her acting is full of emotional energy even when simply glaring out from those big saucer like eyes.
Romantic escapism of the highest order, perfect girl’s night out at the movies. Just be prepared for waterworks to flow.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.