The Best of Mary Wells (DVD)

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The Best of Mary Wells (DVD)

The Best of Me is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Hoffman and written by Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Nicholas Sparks 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan with Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.


The film -- the story of Dawson and Amanda -- moves between alternate scenes of the couple s relationship in 1992, and their current separate lives.

Dawson Cole works on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. An explosion on the job nearly kills him, throwing him into the water, but miraculously he survives. After his recovery months later, Dawson learns that his close friend and surrogate father—Tuck—has died and returns home for the first time in almost twenty years to carry out Tuck s final wishes.

When he arrives at Tuck s house, Dawson is surprised to find that Tuck also arranged for Dawson s high school girlfriend, Amanda, to join him. It seems that Tuck s intention was to heal the hurt between Dawson and Amanda. However, Amanda is now married.

Dawson was born into a notorious backwoods criminal family with an abusive father. In flashbacks, it is revealed that as a teenager, he left his father s home and stayed overnight in Tuck Hostetler s garage. Tuck, a local mechanic who had recently lost his wife, allowed Dawson to live with him and eventually considered him a son of his own.

Dawson and Amanda attended the same high school and began dating, soon falling in love. On the afternoon of the prom, Dawson s father and brothers beat Tuck. Dawson, angered, goes to his father s with the intent of killing him with Tuck s rifle. However, they scuffle, and Dawson s cousin, an expectant teen father, is accidentally killed. In exchange for a lighter sentence, Dawson testifies against his father and brothers. Since Dawson would not be paroled for at least four years, he cut ties with Amanda, forcing her to choose college over staying with him.

After Tuck s death, Amanda and Dawson meet with Tuck s lawyer and learn that they are to scatter Tuck s ashes at a cottage he owned with his wife. Later, Dawson and Amanda spend a passionate night together. They have lunch and discuss their plans, during which Dawson is reminded by Amanda that she had continued to try to visit him in prison. The following day, Amanda decides to return to her family and her strained marriage, to fulfill her family commitments.

When Amanda goes home, Dawson remains at Tuck s to restore the garden. However, she later decides to split up with her husband, and she leaves Dawson a voicemail expressing her love. Before anything more can happen between them, Dawson is attacked and almost killed by his brothers, having been almost pushed in front of a moving train. Dawson knocks them out, but after calling 911, he is spotted by his father across the railroad tracks and is shot dead.

Meanwhile, Amanda gets a call that her son has been in a car accident. On arriving at the hospital, the doctor tells her he needs a new heart. That same night, the doctors tell her they had found a donor. While sleeping, Amanda has a dream of Dawson sitting on the side of her bed when she is awoken by the doorbell being rung by her mother, who has come to tell her that Dawson had been shot and killed by his father.

One year later, Amanda gets a call from her son telling her he found out who the donor was and that maybe she knew him: Dawson Cole. Shocked and happy upon hearing this, she drives back to the house Tuck had left them. It is there that she reads the letter Dawson had left her, telling her how much he loved her. She proceeds to take a walk through the garden Dawson had beautifully arranged for her before he died.


  • James Marsden as Dawson ColeLuke Bracey as young Dawson
  • Luke Bracey as young Dawson
  • Michelle Monaghan as Amanda Collier-ReynoldsLiana Liberato as young Amanda
  • Liana Liberato as young Amanda
  • Sebastian Arcelus as Frank Reynolds
  • Gerald McRaney as Tuck Hostetler
  • Sean Bridgers as Tommy Cole
  • Rob Mello as Ted Cole
  • Hunter Burke as Abee Cole
  • Jon Tenney as Harvey Collier
  • Caroline Goodall as Evelyn Collier
  • Ian Nelson as Jared Reynolds
  • Schuyler Fisk as Older April
  • Robby Rasmussen as Bobby Cole / Aaron Cole
  • Julia Lashae as Clara



On June 17, 2011, Warner Bros. acquired the film rights to the novel The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. On March 15, 2012, it was announced that the studio had tapped screenwriter J. Mills Goodloe to adapt the book.

On September 27, it was reported that Warner Bros. was in final talks with Michael Hoffman to direct the film, Will Fetters was set to rewrite the screenplay, marking his second adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and Denise Di Novi was set to produce the film, along with Sparks and Sparks agent Theresa Park as co-producers, marking Di Novi s fifth film collaboration with Sparks, Sparks second time producing a film adaptation of one of his novels and Park s production debut. On July 25, 2013, Relativity Media acquired the distribution rights from Warner Bros., marking the studio s third film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. On October 22, Michelle Monaghan was cast to play the female lead Amanda Collier, and Ryan Kavanaugh was to co-produce the film. On October 24, the studio set the film for an October 17, 2014 release.

On January 9, 2014, the studio offered James Marsden, who co-starred in the 2004 adaptation of Sparks 1996 novel The Notebook to play the male lead Dawson Cole, replacing Paul Walker after his death. On January 28, Liana Liberato joined the film s cast as the younger version of Monaghan s character, Amanda Collier. On February 12, Luke Bracey was added to the cast to play the younger version of Marsden s character, Dawson Cole. On March 12, Sebastian Arcelus and Gerald McRaney joined the cast of the film. Arcelus played Frank Reynolds, Amanda s husband and father of her children, while McRaney played Tuck, a widower who takes in young Dawson and becomes a friend and father-figure to him. On March 25, Jon Tenney was added to the cast to play Harvey Collier, the father of Amanda.


Principal photography began on March 6, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana for a 42-day shoot. On April 30 and May 1 the filming took place in the downtown Covington area. Also filming took place in parts of Pearl River, Louisiana.


On June 27, 2014, it was announced that composer Aaron Zigman would be scoring the music for the film.


The Best of Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedOctober 7, 2014
GenreCountry, pop
LabelEMI Nashville, Relativity
Singles from The Best of Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. I Did with You
    Released: September 8, 2014

The soundtrack album for the film, released on October 7, 2014, features original music primarily from the genre of country music, recorded by artists such as Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, David Nail, Colbie Caillat, Kip Moore, Eli Young Band, Eric Paslay, Thompson Square, and Thomas Rhett. I Did with You by Lady Antebellum was released on September 8, 2014 as the first promotional single from the soundtrack. The band s other contribution, Falling for You is also available on the deluxe edition of their fifth studio album, 747.

The titles and performing artists were published by Taste of Country.

1. I Did with You Lady Antebellum3:15
2. Dream Girl Hunter Hayes3:39
3. Hold On SHEL and Gareth Dunlop3:26
4. In Love Again Colbie Caillat3:31
5. The Way Things Go Thomas Rhett4:06
6. Borrowed Time Thompson Square4:12
7. Lead Me Kip Moore3:50
8. Love Is a Liar Kacey Musgraves3:15
9. Falling for You Lady Antebellum3:54
10. Rain from Heaven Eric Paslay3:58
11. All the Way David Nail2:56
12. Unchanged Eli Young Band3:35
13. Sweet Jane Cowboy Junkies3:27
14. Crossroads Phoebe Hoffman4:48

Commercial performance

The album debuted at number 54 on the Billboard 200, selling 6,200 copies in its first week.

Chart performance

Chart (2014–15)Peak
US Billboard 20052
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)11
US Top Soundtracks (Billboard)4


Box office

The Best of Me opened in North America on October 17, 2014 across 2,936 theaters. It has grossed $26.8 million in North America and $9.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $35.9 million.

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $10 million finishing fifth at the box office behind Fury, Gone Girl, The Book of Life and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, making it the worst opening for a Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation.

Critical reception

The Best of Me was panned by critics. As of June 2020, the film scored a 12% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 82 reviews with an average rating of 3.64 out of 10. The site s consensus read, At nine films and counting, the line between Nicholas Sparks film fans and detractors is clear, and The Best of Me will change few minds on either side of the divide. On Metacritic, the film scored 29 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews . In CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave The Best of Me an average grade of B+ on an A+ to F scale.

Home media

The Best of Me was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 3, 2015. At the same time, a Tears of Joy edition of the film with a running time of 115 minutes and an alternated ending was released on DVD and Blu-ray.




K-Tel Entertainment

Published Date


Recording Studio

K-Tel Entertainment




K-Tel Entertainment

Rating MPA

Not Rated

Age Group


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1h 58min


Michael Hoffman


Nicholas Sparks, Will Fetters, J. Mills Goodloe


James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey

Produced by

Robbie Brenner, Justin Burns, Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan, Russ Kavanaugh, Ryan Kavanaugh, D. Scott Lumpkin, Theresa Park, Patrick Peach, Andrew C. Robinson, Nicholas Sparks, Tucker Tooley, Jared Underwood

Music by

Aaron Zigman

Cinematography by

Oliver Stapleton

Film Editing by

Matt Chesse

Casting By

Ronna Kress

Production Design by

Patrizia von Brandenstein

Art Direction by

Raymond Pumilia

Set Decoration by

Tim Cohn

Costume Design by

Ruth E. Carter

Makeup Department

Kimberly Amacker, Nikki I Brown, Emily Burka, Natalie Chosa, Daina Daigle, Marcos Gonzales, Jack Lazzaro, Annabelle MacNeal, Tania McComas, Anne Morgan, Rita Parillo, Paige Reeves, Aimee Stuit, Crystal Wells, Melizah Anguiano Wheat

Production Management

S.J. JoJo Fieger, Ken Halsband, Christopher Kulikowski, D. Scott Lumpkin, Pascal Vaguelsy

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Eric Fox Hays, Cristen Martemucci, Steven Ritzi, Ann C. Salzer, John M. White, Derek Hall

Art Department

Dean Allison, Scott C. Bivona, Charles Bodenheimer, Elizabeth Boller, Scott Childers, Nicholas Ellerbee, Stephen Finders, Matthew Ford, Jerry G. Henery, Jason Glenn Jimes, Adie Kaplan, Steven Kerlagon, Andree Lago, Ryan LeBlanc, Nicole Reed LeFevre, Twig Leveque, Sam Lothridge, Carl Mastio, Brian Murray, Pat A. O Connor, Jesse Michael Owen, Alaina Peck, Jed Pendergrass, John Pundt, Patrick Roig, Mike Scherschel, Codie Scott, Deanna Simmons, Victoria St. Pierre, Jessica Stumpf, Todd Tracy, Brendan Turrill, Brian Walker, Michael Williams Willis, Mark Woodworth II

Sound Department

Matthew Armstrong, Henry Auerbach, Jo Caron, Ryan Collins, Colette D. Dahanne, Robert Dehn, Jason Dotts, Christopher Eakins, Jesse Ehredt, Art Espinosa, Guy Francoeur, Justin Herman, Lora Hirschberg, Michael B. Koff, Lisa J. Levine, Tim Limer, Travis MacKay, Charlie Mascagni, Laurent Ouellette, Victoria Rose Sampson, Mike Weber, Billy Theriot

Special Effects by

Kyle Casler, Holly Blair Cox, Mark Divekar, Matthew Brady Harris

Visual Effects by

Tom Allen, Peter Allendale, Naline Amaral, Khan Arbaz, Kenneth Armstrong, Kelsey Ayukawa, Jordan Benwick, Fanny Berthiaume, Giorgio Bertolone, Baljot Bhatti, Joao Bogossian, Randy Brown, Benjamin Burr, Tim Carras, Joshua D. Comen, Bryan Davies, Nigel Denton-Howes, Mark Divekar, Rebecca Erbe, Kornel Farkas, Rodrigo Fernandez, Brody Fikkert, Matt Frank, Akash Gade, Raymond Gieringer, Mark Gordon, Arushi Govil, Yash Gowda, Vikas Gusain, Patricio Harris, David Hipp, Melissa Huerta, Chuan Jin, Lesley c Johny, Pratik Jore, Josh Judd, Michael Karp, Avinash Reddy Karumuri, Devika Kawle, Paul Kirsch, Michelle Korczak, Aaron Kramer, Geneviève Labelle, Daniel Laczkowski, Wendy Lanning, Brian Lee, Diana Li, Simon Littlejohn, Jean-Philippe Lucas, Marc Mason, Farhad Mohasseb, Stéphanie Morin, Sean Nowlan, Kurian Os, Ashish Pandey, Mile Panic, Rajendra Parab, Doug Penner, Srikanth Pullamsetti, Jason Quintana, Prashant Raj, Ankush Ravre, Mathieu Raynault, Marc A. Rousseau, Akash Roy, Angel Gil Ruiz, Kevin Sheldon Saldanha, Ronald Samson, V.W. Scheich, Anik Seguin, Mohak Sharma, Misato Shinohara, Ganesh B. Singh, Sarabjeet Singh, Frederic St-Arnaud, Christopher Stewart, Ahmet Levent Tasel, Chiranjeev Thakur, Sylvain Theroux, Joel Thompson, Varaprasad.Dhongili, Angus Wakefield, Jerry Weil, Sunil Kumar Yadav, Teh-wei Yeh, Kyle Cunningham, Eric Reinhard


John L. Armijo, Jon Arthur, Tim Bell, Sean Paul Braud, Alan D Antoni, Tony Donno, Andy Dylan, Chris J. Fanguy, Travis Fienhage, Christian J. Fletcher, Jeff Galpin, Lex D. Geddings, Adam Horwitz, Michael Ortiz, Kevin Reid, Steven Ritzi, Eric R Salas, Felipe Savahge, Todd Schneider, Kevin Waterman, Willie Weber, Joe Nin Williams, John Zimmerman

Camera and Electrical Department

Joshua Anderson, Dacoda Bartels, Heidi Bayer, Daniel Bombell, Joe Cassano, Ron Chapple, Pete Chiaramonte, Eric Damazio, Tony Damazio, Thomas M. Dangcil, Brandon Dauzat, Greg Faysash, Robert Foster, Jeremiah Fry, Carter Lee Garrett, Hilton Garrett, Gonzalo Gonzalez, Brian Hollars, Ignacio , Larron Rome Julian, Michael D. Kennedy, Gemma La Mana, Duane Charles Manwiller, Christopher Martin, Jim McConkey, Ray Meibaum, Jeff Muhlstock, Josh Nobles, Josh Oliver, Joseph Paolucci Jr., Roberto Pierson, David Schmalz, Devon Stinson, Michael Stumpf, Robby Terry, Sergio Villegas, Jason Vowell, Troy Wagner, Toni Weick, Sterling Wiggins, Jeremy Wren, Justin Wright, Peter Zuccarini, Remi Tournois

Animation Department

Richard Smith

Casting Department

Joel K. Berger, Elizabeth Coulon, Justin Coulter, Hannah d Angerio, Emma McKillop, Hunter Karas

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Frank Avanzo, Amanda Steeley Bankins, Megan Coates, Derica Cole Washington, Heather Ferrell, Ashley Heathcock, Kizzie Autumn Martin, Dan Moore, Chris Nausley, Olivia Vestina Torres, Marian Toy, Chloe Ji Yoon

Editorial Department

Sophie Dick, Rob Doolittle, Valance Eisleben, Stratton Farrar, Kimaree Long, Allyse Manoff, Mark Sahagun, Mike Sowa, Matt Sweat, Zander White, Denise Woodgerd, Nadia Nabhan

Location Management

Joaquin Aragon, Erce Deli Cantu, Charlie French, Michael L. Kuhn, Lisa Latter, Stephen LeBlanc, Albert Quaid, Wes Rossi, Ben Stolte

Music Department

Helen Z. Altenbach, Bob Bowen, Jacob Braun, Ian Broucek, Meredith Crawford, Victor De Almeida, Zach Dellinger, George Doering, E. Duke-Kirkpatrick, Jessica Guideri, Elizabeth Hedman, Benjamin Jacobson, Steve Juliani, Dan Kelley, Brian Kilgore, Ernest Lee, Jason Markey, Darrin McCann, Eugene Mishustin, Demetrice Nguyen, Radu Pieptea, Peter Rotter, Dennis S. Sands, Andrew Silver, Rebecca Sjowall, Michael Stern, Happy Walters, Bob Zimmitti

Script and Continuity Department

Nicole Garcea

Transportation Department

Donna Brower, Kaylon Damazio, Ricky Damazio, Aaron Pigg

Additional Crew

Ted Alderman, Sheila Allen, Kd Amond, Maddie Applewhite, Denver Beattie, Linda Benjamin, Bianca Bezdek-Goodloe, Bret Borgeson, Christian Brown, Dottie Buck, Bridgett Buss, Vincent Campos, Lindsay M. Carr, Ron Centanni, Andrea Claret, Eden Cohen, James Connell, Ricky Damazio, Dawn Darfus, Kimberly Edwards, Megan M. Edwards, Maureen Poon Fear, Gabe Fieger, S.J. JoJo Fieger, Jonathan Ford, Jeff Galpin, Michael Giordani, Bernadette Gonzales, Patrick Hall, Gene Kevin Hames Jr., Deuce Cheryl Hedrick, Stephanie Hilton, Beth Hintermeier, Michael B. Koff, Janet L Aube, Greg Maxwell, Melissa Morkus, Travis Michael Myers, Sudesh Nanu, Frederic Perrin, Jackson Rambo, Christine Rings, DaJuan Manwell Rippy, Tyler Samardick, Becky Sanderman, Claire Schexnayder, Tim Sigur, Adam M. Stone, Cat Stone, Krista Ann Toups, Margarita McClenon Velona, Cindy Villa, Jay Watt, Aaron V. Williamson, Stephen Adler, Ashton Fontana, Jeff Maynard, Jay L. Spencer


Drama, Romance


DiNovi Pictures, Relativity Media









ImDb Rating Votes


Metacritic Rating


Short Description

The Best of Me is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Hoffman and written by Will Fetters and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Nicholas Sparks 2011 novel of the same name. The film stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan with Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

Box Office Budget

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Box Office Opening Weekend USA


Box Office Gross USA


Box Office Cumulative Worldwide Gross



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