Dawson Cole (James Marsden, older and Luke Bracey, younger) is from the wrong side of the tracks while Amanda (Michelle Monaghan, older, Liana Liberato, younger) comes from a well to do family. Their paths cross unexpectedly and their connection maintained because Dawson attends the same school as Amanda. Determined to do better than his abusive backwoods drug dealing family, Dawson is a simple studious young man who is clueless in the art of flirting to get his girl.
One day after one too many abusive encounters with his father, Dawson runs away and finds refuge in the shed of a crusty old widower called Tuck, who eventually takes him in. This allows Dawson more freedom to see Amanda who also becomes a staple at Tuck's home. Eventually the different roads they travel wrenches them apart when a crises hits and they lose sight of each other for 20 years.
Dawson now works on an offshore oil rig and Amanda has married and yes, you guessed it, their thoughts never stray far from each other. After an accident on the oil rig that by some miracle didn't kill Dawson, he returns home for the funeral of old Tuck where the high-school sweethearts see each other again. A love that has never been forgotten reignites, but along with it Dawson comes face to face yet again with the forces that drove them apart.
This could have been a good gut wrenching film but for me there was something amiss. The idea and concept of 'fate' was being bandied about lightly but it remained up in the air and not fully realised, thus rendering it a bit of fluff. The other thing that kept bugging me was the fact that the young actor Luke Bracey looked nothing like his older self, played by James Marsden. For me, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Still there are many good scenes to enjoy and I give it a 6 out of 10.