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Genre: Drama/Romance
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
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.lastsongmovie.com/

Opening Day: 13 May 2010


Based 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.

Movie Review:

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 parents).

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.

Let’s just say that she isn’t very impressed with his snide remarks once the credits began rolling.

Movie Rating:

(Guys, watch this with your girlfriends and try your very best to feel the sparks of love)

Review by John Li


. Dear John (2010)

. My Sister's Keeper (2009)

. Hanna Montana The Movie (2009)

. 17 Again (2009)

. Nights In Rodanthe (2008)

. Feast Of Love (2007)

. The Notebook (2004)


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