The Last Song
It is a game for me, when beginning a movie based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, to guess which character is going to die. A character always dies. The Last Song is no exception, however in every other way is a weak Nicholas Sparks inspired movie.
Lacking the emotional depth of ‘The Notebook’ or the storyline of ‘Nights in Rodanthe’ it skips along, throwing together a range of family, ecological and moral issues while doing justice to few. Saying that, the movie is by Disney and would be fine family fare (though watch out for a misplaced swearword and a wet-white-t-shirt scene). It is perhaps a good film for sparking conversations on the issues it brings up but not a good film for answering many of them.
Miley Cyrus plays Ronnie, a talented girl who has turned want-to-be wild child due to the pain of her parents divorce and the physical separation it brings from her father. This is brought to a head when her mother takes Ronnie and younger brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) to spend the summer with their father Steve (Greg Kinnear) who lives on the beach in Georgia, USA, where she is promptly hit on by town heartthrob, Will Blakelee (Aussie actor, Liam Hemsworth). Within these two emotionally intense relationships (and several other relationships, sub-plots and issues thrown in for good measure) Ronnie needs to decide who she is and what she wants from life.
Coleman is perfect as Jonah – funny and annoying as a younger brother, believable and heart wrenching as a child losing someone important to him. Kinnear makes a kind, patient father. The family pulls together when it has to and there is plenty of love to go around.
The problem is that the relationships and storylines don’t draw you in. You can’t believe Ronnie as a bad-girl, the expected death is, well, expected and Will’s attraction to Ronnie just doesn’t seem true to life. Miley Cyrus fans however will love the amount of screen time she gets (and will probably love the film no matter what). Watch this movie as a family, with time to talk it over afterward, and you’ll be making good use of an otherwise uninspired film.
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod
Director:: Julie Anne Robinson
Key Cast Members: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Bobby Coleman, Liam Hemsworth
Runtime: 103 minutes
DVD Bonus features:
Set tour with Bobby Coleman
Making of the Music Video “When I Look At You”
Music Video “When I Look At You”