“This is the best soundtrack of all of my films.” -Nicholas Sparks.Director Michael Hoffman (Mid Summer Night’s Dream, One Fine Day) took the stage at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater on Thursday, October 9 to welcome an invitation-only crowd to the Nashville premiere of his latest film, The Best of Me. The Relativity Media release, in theaters October 17, is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ (The Notebook, A Walk To Remember) novel by the same title.
“When we talked about a soundtrack, we talked about Country music because Nick Sparks movies are about honesty,” said Hoffman in his introduction from the stage. “From the beginning, the lynchpin was Lady Antebellum. I can’t thank them enough. They watched the movie and wrote the ballad of The Best of Me. They prove we were right that Country Music touches people in this country.”
Sparks added, “This is the best soundtrack of all of my films. When I look out on you, I think ‘This is where the talent lies.’ It’s my honor to be here with you [artists].”
Jason Markey (Act of Valor), Sr. VP Music & Soundtracks at Relativity Media partnered with Universal Music Group Nashville (EMI Nashville) to create the film’s soundtrack. Artists contributing to the project include Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Colbie Caillat, Thomas Rhett, Thompson Square, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Eric Paslay, David Nail, and Eli Young Band.
Immediately following the Nashville premiere, artists took to the stage to perform acoustic sets of their work. Before “The Way Things Go,” Rhett noted he had read the book before he knew he had a song in the movie. Caillat sang her soundtrack cut, “In Love Again,” a title she wrote about a relationship that left her not wanting to fall in love with anyone else. Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum accompanied her on piano after she sampled her title “Never Gonna Let You Down” and her latest single “Try.” Together with Gareth Dunlop, the four sisters of SHEL performed “Hold On.”
Lady Antebellum wrapped the performances with “I Did It With You,” a title co-written with Monty Powell. “This is the first experience we had writing for a motion picture,” said Hillary Scott. “In the past few days, we have been between here and Los Angeles. Thank you to everyone for making this a great experience.” The trio concluded with “Bartender” and invited Caillat back for a cover of “Islands In The Stream.”
A $7.50 “Movie Cash Ticket” will be made available for admission to the film with the purchase of all physically released versions of the soundtrack, thanks to Relativity Studios. For superfans, Walmart will offer a special ZinePak including the soundtrack, 48-pages of photos and quotes from actors and film makers, an unabridged audio book and seeds from the flower that is featured in the story.
The film stars James Marsden and Luke Bracey respectively as older and younger “Dawson” and Michelle Monaghan and Liana Liberato respectively as older and younger “Amanda,” high school sweethearts reuniting after 21 years of growing up in Louisiana.