All Eyes on the Past

It’s always been fascinating – those happily ever after stories that we fervently believe when we’re younger, but that we eventually dismiss because after a while, it seems silly. After all, everyone knows reality is anything but “happily ever after”. Those pesky grown up truths get in the way and somehow, we lose that simple belief that sometimes our future is patiently waiting… right smack dab in the past. Apparently, Hollywood is all for challenging the status quo. It’s interesting because nothing is forever in Hollywood – yet, writers and producers are taking huge leaps of faith by building their fantasies on an actual truth:

A new study from California State University shows that people who come back together after at least five years apart have an impressive 76 percent chance of staying together. That’s especially interesting considering only 40 percent of other marriages work out.

Luke Bracey

Luke Bracey

And what better time than the holidays to plant those seeds? At least, they’re banking on hitting a nerve that one time of the year when most of us live for the thought that anything’s possible (including actually surviving the holidays minus the maxed out credit card).

Up first, we’re going back to 1984 with a new film that’s not getting nearly as much attention as it will when it actually opens at the theatre.

The Best of Me

The trailers have begun airing for this Nicholas Sparks film and it’ll find its way to a movie theater near you on October 17th. The plot sounds “done to death”, as my Maw-Maw would say, and that’s a shame since it’s so much more than what it’s officially claiming:

Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they’re drawn back to their small town. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten. This epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

Make no mistake – The Best of Me is not for lovelorn teens – I mean, it works for that, but this is one of those stories that goes far deeper than any teenager ever expects for his or her life. It’s dark and it’s set in the south – which is always a bonus for this southern girl.

If you’re not OK with your past and things left unsaid or undone, it could be a challenge to watch. Also, too, Nicholas Sparks is an incredible writer and the book is exactly what we expect from him. This time, the movie goes deeper, which is rare with novels brought to life on the silver screen.

Don’t let the different actors fool you, either. Initially, we meet Amanda and Dawson as teens. It simply sets the stage for what’s to come. And by the way, James Marsden has never looked better. It’s beautiful and simple and then it turns dark. Honestly, I’ve no idea how the last moments play out. I know how it ends, but that’s just me – I made my own ending. The gorgeous cinematography and really, one of the more authentic southern settings I’ve seen in a film in a long time help bring the story alive. It’s hard to believe it doesn’t end as beautifully as we expect. That said, you still leave content.

And changed.

Here’s the extended trailer and be watching for it October 17th.

And, of course, here are three (and there are actually five or six storylines that come to mind) of the latest gambles on rekindled love that we can expect to see on TV this fall.

Sons of Anarchy

Kurt Sutter has this magical way of making viewers hate and love his characters at the same time. There’s something so authentic in these stories, even though most mothers-in-law would never kill their son’s wife with a carving fork to the skull.  The reasons make sense, the violence? Not so much – but that’s what we like about TV. We want to see some of the darker sides of the human condition. Something tells me we’re going to get a healthy dose of those darker sides as the storyline between Jax and Wendy appears to be heating up.

Now that the missus is out of the way, thanks to the ever-helpful Gemma, Jax the widower just might find solace in the mother of his first son. In the first season, we didn’t like Wendy. We didn’t like the fact that her addictions nearly killed her son and while some of us might have thought Gemma loading the needle for Wendy hours after she gave birth to Gemma’s grandson was disturbing on a new level, there just wasn’t much sympathy for the woman lying in the hospital bed.

Now though, Wendy’s returned and after a relapse (again, courtesy of Gemma), she’s on track for becoming a good mother – and maybe something more for Jax. The third episode of this final season, Playing with Monsters, sheds new light on Wendy, especially when she says to Brooke the babysitter, “I still love Jax.” As if we didn’t already know. Catch the latest and final season of Sons of Anarchy on FX Network Tuesday nights, 9 p.m. CT.

Nashville

Oh, that crazy Rayna! Two marriage proposals? You go, girl. Deacon’s still trying to woo her and she’s struggling with what he put her through all those years ago. Pretty sure she’s ultimately going to pick Deacon -even though she chose the other guy. See? Does anyone even know his name? She’s fooling no one, except herself. And, of course, in true Hollywood – and Nashville – fashion, she’ll magically realize it moments before walking down the aisle to marry what’s-his-name.

But the best part with this Nashville gem? You know we’re going to get a few honkytonk heartbreak songs. And those are the best!

Lost in Love

One of the best new shows this summer was brought to us courtesy of a little network known as FYI. Married at First Sight was absolutely mesmerizing. Now, the network is going to double down with another reality-love-story show. This time, Lost in Love brings people together who are carrying old flames for someone in their past. This one’s iffy because of social media and by the way, God bless Mark Zuckerberg. Thanks to him, we’ve become a nation of stalkers; and really, isn’t that a good thing?

Do people really need a TV show about lost loves when we have Facebook? And especially one that could result in heartbreak? We’ll see. The tentative release is late October.

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