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Movie Review of Nicholas Spark's The Last Song, Starring Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, and Greg Kinnear

The Last Song: Hits the Wrong Notes

Not even two months after Dear John took theaters, Nicholas Sparks pulls out his toolbox of cliches again for the weep fest that is The Last Song.

The story follows rebellious teen Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) who comes to live with her divorced father (Greg Kinnear) for the Summer. With her black belly shirts, the movie is out to prove this girl is no Hannah Montana, as she stomps around slamming doors despite pleas from her little brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) to be nice. Ronnie is a gifted pianist, accepted into Julliard, but she stopped playing when her parents separated as a show of defiance to her father. As you can guess from the title, she takes to the ivories once again before our story is over.

In fact, most of the storyline — as with the majority of Nicholas Sparks tales — is blatantly predictable. But there are still a couple surprises in the mix, Cyrus's performance being one. To find out what I mean,

.

As Ronnie begins to mingle with the preppy, pastel-clad townsfolk, she bumps into local heartthrob Will (Cyrus's real-life boyfriend Liam Hemsworth). Will by all appearances is her opposite, an athletic golden child from a well-to-do family. He's instantly attracted to Ronnie's independence and opinionated streak, and like a glutton for punishment, continues to pop up until her rough exterior melts — which, of course, it does. The two bond over saving a clan of baby sea turtles (yes, really), and soon they're inseparable, much to the chagrin of Will's snooty upper-crust mother. The whole wrong-side-of-the-tracks story convention is in full effect here, as Ronnie's friends consist of a wild girl named after a Lord of the Rings character and her flame-throwing tattooed boyfriend, and Will's bestie is, well, a clean-cut kid named Scott.

The more time Ronnie spends with Will, the more her nature turns from bratty daughter to giddy schoolgirl. Will and Ronnie prance around in the sand, the tune of Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" playing in the background as they cruise in his car, and he carves their initials into a tree. Things are going so well that she takes up the piano again, and even her relationship with her dad benefits. But, of course, just when father and daughter are reaching a good place, the bottom falls out — and the waterworks start.

Coleman deserves a kid Oscar for the tears he turns on as Ronnie's little brother. As things fall apart, his desperate cries are heart-wrenching despite how manipulative they feel. The script loves to toy with us emotionally, especially towards the end. You may get misty — that is, if you're not too busy rolling your eyes. But the takeaway here for me is Cyrus's acting skills. While she probably won't earn critical acclaim, I found her performance to be surprisingly solid given the material. It's the schlocky lines here that are ultimately to blame. While Cyrus may draw an audience, she can't save this film from its own sappiness.


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Photos courtesy of Disney

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Join The Conversation
mfan mfan 5 years
I noticed the pastels too! If I visit Tybee and see anything but pastels I'm going to be so disappointed! The ultimate review of a movie may be it's DVD sales. After all, everyone has had time to digest the movie and the option of renting it. The DVD sales of The Last Song are great! They are at $24.7 million and counting ($810,531 this last week) for a movie with a production budget of $20 million. I appreciate your fair comments on Miley's acting. Instead of arguing over one performance, I suggest people wait to see her in a variety of movies. Her abilitiy of lack of ability will then be obvious. Remember, Sandra Bullock got a Best Actress Oscar the same year she got a Razzie, proving that a lot of times it comes down to the scope the material offers.
mfan mfan 5 years
I noticed the pastels too! If I visit Tybee and see anything but pastels I'm going to be so disappointed!The ultimate review of a movie may be it's DVD sales. After all, everyone has had time to digest the movie and the option of renting it. The DVD sales of The Last Song are great! They are at $24.7 million and counting ($810,531 this last week) for a movie with a production budget of $20 million.I appreciate your fair comments on Miley's acting. Instead of arguing over one performance, I suggest people wait to see her in a variety of movies. Her abilitiy of lack of ability will then be obvious. Remember, Sandra Bullock got a Best Actress Oscar the same year she got a Razzie, proving that a lot of times it comes down to the scope the material offers.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
Um, Dani, it appears that more critics think she was awful: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/10011984-last_song/
dani19 dani19 5 years
first of all, i could not agree less with this review. i saw this move last night and was very touched. i found it very similar to the book and i enjoyed the book immensely. this movie was by far better then dear john, and i thought the story with ronnie and her dad was greatly portrayed. honestly, whoever wrote this needs to take another look at reviewing movies because it seems you just watch the movie with all the lame bias you have heard, barely willing to give the movie a chance. and to comment number 8, you are really long; on the contrary, many critics are praising this as miley's role into acting stardom.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 5 years
I really don't want to see this but I have a feeling I will because my younger cousin wants too. Atleast I will have a hot guy to stare at.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
I laughed as hard at the baby sea turtles thing as I did when I read that Ed Furlong tried to save a bunch of lobsters in a grocery store.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
two bond over saving a clan of baby sea turtles . really? REALLY? I think one star is probably generous.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
<i>two bond over saving a clan of baby sea turtles </i>. really? REALLY?I think one star is probably generous.
goddessru goddessru 5 years
Ugh MC is so annoying. I can't believe the good looking guy in the movie is her real BF?! Anyways, I'll probably netflix this one because Nicholas Sparks does know how to tell a love story or two...
skigurl skigurl 5 years
but sometimes sappy is good!! entertaining at the very least!
kismekate kismekate 5 years
One star. What a shocker.
kismekate kismekate 5 years
One star. What a shocker.
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