Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Cast: Miley Cyrus, Kelly Preston, Greg Kinnear,
Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Hallock Beals, Nick Lashaway,
Carly Chaikin, Nick Searcy, Kate Vernon
RunTime: 1 hr 47 mins
Released By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Official Website: http://www.lastsongmovie.com/
Opening Day: 13 May 2010
on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks' ("A Walk to
Remember," "The Notebook") forthcoming novel,
"The Last Song" is set in a small Southern beach
town where an estranged father (Greg Kinnear) gets a chance
to spend the summer with his reluctant teenaged daughter (Miley
Cyrus), who'd rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect
with her through the only thing they have in common—music—in
a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along
with first loves and second chances.
Nicholas Sparks. Damn, this internationally
bestselling author has just ruined this reviewer - like, totally.
He should have known better than to sit through a movie adapted
from the American writer’s novel. Why didn’t he
see it coming? Especially when he knows that Hollywood has
already churned out movies like Message in a Bottle (1999),
A Walk to Remember (2002) and The Notebook (2004), which are
based on the author’s works? No, it doesn’t help
that Sparks took on the role of screenwriter for this one,
because it just makes things worse.
In this sixth Hollywood movie adaptation
of Spark’s novels, the female protagonist is a rebellious
young girl who spends the summer with her father in a Southern
beach town. You see, her parents are divorced and she isn’t
exactly very happy with her father. The angry girl learns
to reconnect with her father through their mutual love for
music. Of course, what is a Nicholas Sparks romance drama
without a good looking lad? And of course, someone who has
to obligatorily die to milk those tears?
And therein lies the problem of this Julie
Anne Robinson directed movie. It is one of those blatantly
manipulative chick flicks which guys have to bring their girlfriends
to patronize, only because these girls have “read so
much” about Sparks and feel that he is “the greatest
writer alive”. Sure, you go ahead and spend your 107
minutes in the cinema if you feel that the romantic stories
Sparks are the closest things you can get real life, just
because the main characters usually don’t experience
the typical happy ending.
Before readers begin feeling that this reviewer
is being personal to Sparks, let him point out how the dreary
drama made him glance at his watch every 10 minutes or so.
First, it was so obvious a character was going to die in the
story. It feels like you are just waiting for it to take place,
and presto, in the last third of the movie, it happens. Second,
the predictable plot is a conventional Hollywood storytelling
structure which has this willful girl turning good because
of the love she receives on a summer holiday – been
there, done that. Third, and this may sound spiteful, the
setting is the perfect excuse to have the boyfriend play volleyball
topless, and to show off his well toned body on the beach.
And to create the perfect life any guy would die for, he has
to be rich and stay in a big bungalow (no, this reviewer doesn’t
really care if he doesn’t feel at home with his squabbling
So what’s left of this movie that made
this scrooge of a reviewer sit through its entire duration?
Well, there’s the rather likeable Miley Cyrus (you go,
Hannah Montana!) playing the obstinately headstrong female
lead. Although it is certain that she won’t be receiving
any acting accolades for her rather uncharacteristic performance
here, the very popular starlet is pleasant enough for guys
to stay interested. Besides, you can enjoy the pop singer’s
crisp vocals when she performs the end credits song. Then
there is the always reliable Greg Kinnear (Green Zone, Ghost
Town) who plays Cyrus’ long suffering father. The charismatic
actor is about the best thing you will get from this movie.
The other male star of the movie is Australian actor Liam
Hemsworth (Knowing), who plays the handsome lad who sweeps
Cyrus off her feet. You can be sure that he isn’t going
to be this reviewer’s favourite male actor anytime soon.
Oh, and it hasn’t been mentioned how
this movie has ruined this reviewer? After having managed
to ward off social obligations of watching Nights in Rodanthe
(2008) and Dear John (2009) with his friends, he stepped into
the cinema with a female friend (a fan of Sparks’ novels,
definitely) to watch this movie.
just say that she isn’t very impressed with his snide
remarks once the credits began rolling.
(Guys, watch this with your girlfriends and try your
very best to feel the sparks of love)
Review by John Li