Making its case for worst Nicholas Sparks adaptation ever in The Best of Me - one of this weekend's cinematic offerings and easily one of the worst movies of the year. This sort of stuff usually sells - Safe Heaven, The Last Song, Dear John and, of course The Notebook - but there's a theory that The Best of Me won't be the guaranteed earner that Relatively probably assumes it is.

James Marsden Michelle MonaghanJames Marsden [L] and Michelle Monaghan [R] in 'The Best of Me'

Based on Sparks' novel of the same name, the book tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Billed as an "epic love story", The Best of Me appears to contain every cliché in the book. That's the book of movie clichés, not the book The Best of Me - although that probably contains just as many platitudes.

More: check out our Michelle Monaghan pictures

"Much of the dialogue for this terminally mawkish tearjerker sounds as if it has been taken directly from a Dolly Parton or Whitney Houston song," said Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent. 

James Marsden Michelle Monaghan'The Best of Me' has suffered terrible reviews

"Even permitting that the movie's setup counts almost by default as one of Nicholas Sparks's more complicated scenarios, that makes his failure to draw up compelling, flawed, human characters all the more conspicuous," said Eric Henderson of Slant magazine.

"We've seen this story told in similar fashion so many times in the past. I only wish we could have had it delivered in a fresher, less cliché-filled package," said Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times.

More: check out our James Marsden pictures

"The latest gaseous emission from the Sparks melodrama machine," said Peter Howell of the Toronto Star.

We should probably say at this point that The Best of Me stars Michelle Monaghan, James Marsden and Luke Bracey. It's out in US cinemas now. 

Watch the trailer for 'The Best of Me':