Nicholas Sparks has penned another tear-jerker for the soft spot in all of us, as he is famous for. The movie on the other hand, well, many will say they should have stopped with the book.
Starring Miley Cyrus as the lead character in this movie was probably Sparks’ first mistake. Although Cyrus has adoring fans in the young teen ages, and Disney has made her millions, she is not the best choice for big screen drama.
The movie opens with a family making the dreaded trek to see the dad. Cyrus plays Veronica (Ronnie), the very bratty, selfish teen, along side the always beautiful Kelly Preston playing Cyrus’ mother, Kim and cute lovable Bobby Coleman as Cyrus’ little brother Jonah.
Heading to the ocean to spend a summer with their estranged father Steve, played by Greg Kinnear, Jonah is terribly excited as he misses his father desperately, but Ronnie could not be more upset.
As the story line unravels in this movie, Ronnie hits the beach to find some fun, and Jonah hangs with dad to renew their father and son bond. As Ronnie wanders the beach, she “bumps in to” Will Blakelee, played by Liam Hemsworth, the rich kid who hangs out on the beach playing volleyball.
After an awkward initial meeting, Will is instantly intrigued by Ronnie’s pouty, dark nature, and chooses to pursue her, with imminent success.
As much as I love the tear-jerker stuff that Sparks can put on paper, the movie just goes from bad to worse here. With all the cheesy cliché’s included, the plot line, setting and characters are an almost exact replica of Sparks’ last released movie, Dear John.
Last Song showcases the volleyball-playing rich kid heading off to college (Hemsworth), and Dear John showcased the guitar-playing college bound rich kid (Amanda Seyfried). On top of that similarity is the musical prodigy rebelling from her estranged father (Cyrus) in Last Song, and the rebellious teen turned soldier estranged from his father (Channing Tatum).
The settings are the same, plenty of time spent on the beach with half naked bodies all over, and both movies featuring a main character with a deadly disease.
Probably the best part of this whole movie is the acting by young Jonah, and his innocent character. Expect a few tears though, with the reuniting of father and daughter, and their journey to summers end.
If you are a true sentimental, and love Nicholas Sparks’ former work, which he is definitely famous for, then by all means, but rent it before you buy it. It’s definitely not the same standard as “The Notebook” was.
Overall, I did enjoy the movie as mindless, heartstring tugging drama. Rave reviews? No. Nicholas Sparks’ best work? No. Enjoyable entertainment, yes.
By Ally Dunham