The Last Song is the latest installment in a long line of sappy romance films based on the works of Nicholas Sparks. The novel writer actually penned the screenplay for this drama, which centers on a troubled teenage girl who reluctantly falls in love when every fiber of being doesn’t want to. Somehow she has the blond haired, blue eyed companionship of a local volleyball player to keep her distracted from her uncomfortable home situation. Out of all the girls in the world, the hottest guy on the beach decides to love the one with the Gothic makeup, nose ring, and the bad attitude. How poetic…

The Players:

  • Director: Julie Anne Robinson
  • Writers: Nicholas Sparks (book and screenplay), Jeff Van Wie
  • Cast: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Kelly Preston, Kate Vernon, Nick Searcy
  • Music: Aaron Zigman
  • Cinematography: John Lindley

The Plot:

Based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ (A Walk to Remember, The Notebook) forthcoming book, The Last Song is set in a small Southern beach town where an estranged father (Kinnear) gets a chance to spend the summer with his reluctant teenage daughter (Cyrus), who’d rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common, music.

The Good:

  • Greg Kinnear: The veteran actor plays Cyrus’ father in the film and delivers the most natural and realistic performance out of the entire cast. He’s not over the top, he’s not melodramatic, and he doesn’t try too hard. In a movie filled with teen angst and heartbreak, you need a relaxed presence to keep you from going insane and thankfully he provides it.

The Bad:

  • The Story: The plot is typical Nicholas Sparks, which means it’s formulaic and filled with emotional push and pull. There will be love, there will be heartache, someone will die, almost die, or get sick enough that you think they’ll die.
  • Montages: There are a lot of musical montages that feature Cyrus and Hemsworth frolicking on the beach, and playing in mud, which don’t do much for the story. I can understand the need to consolidate their courtship by editing it in that way, but it feels like you’re watching a music video for a 1980′s power ballad.
  • The Last Song: There’s a build up to the musical talent that Cyrus’ character has yet when she finally decides to reveal it, it falls flat. The last song should be this epic piece of music that blows us away, but instead it puts you to sleep. It’s a major letdown.
  • Kelly Preston: This actress was a supporting player in every sense of the word. She literally popped up in the beginning, came back in the end, and that was it. Her part was so unnecessary, any no name actress could have pulled it off and had the same result.

Overall:

The Last Song, is a disappointing addition to a long line of Nicholas Sparks romance films. It’s no Walk to Remember and it’s definitely not The Notebook. The intent is there but the execution isn’t. At the center of it all this is a teen romance, which gives Miley Cyrus an excuse to be rude and act emo, while Liam Hemsworth walks around topless 80 percent of the time. In other words this is every 15 year old’s fantasy.

Rating: 4/10

The Last Song opens nationwide on March 31, 2010.

Photos:

Trailer:

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Will you go see The Last Song this weekend?