Movie Review Rewind: The Last Song (2010)
The Last Song is another movie adapted from another Nicholas Sparks novel. If you are not familiar with Sparks’ work, he wrote The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, and Dear John. So he knows how to make women cry and pull at the strings of the heart. The only problem is every story is the same. Every one of the movies adapted from his books follow the same repeated formula. And now it is just starting to get irritating.
Let’s start with the story of The Last Song and it may sound familiar. Ronnie Miller (Miley Cyrus) is a troubled teenager who was caught stealing in New York. So her mother (Kelly Preston) thinks a summer with her father will be good for her. A chance for her to escape the big city and for Ronnie and her father to reconnect. So with her little brother, Ronnie spends the summer with her father (Greg Kinnear) on their beach house in Georgia.
At first, Ronnie does not want to open up to anyone and wants to be the outcast. But slowly she begins to reveal her true self. She does care what people think and has a big heart, but she doesn’t like to show it. And she is able to communicate with her father. They have always shared their love for music (the piano), but when her father left, she despised him without ever understanding why her parent’s marriage failed and that it’s not her fault.
It would not be a movie from a Sparks novel without some romance. She meets Will (Liam Hemsworth) while she is on the beach and he is playing volleyball. Ronnie plays hard to get at first but they get to know each other and, of course, begin to love each other. He works as a mechanic, volunteers at the local aquarium, and his parents are filthy rich, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at Will.
But not every thing can have a happy ending. There is fighting between Will and Ronnie, and it is mostly about stupid things. What argument isn’t? And of course cancer shows up to ruin everyone’s fun. But if you have seen any of the other movies I mentioned at the beginning, you should have seen that coming. Director Julie Ann Robinson really tries to play with your emotions and hammer romance, friendship, family, and death in to your head and want you to feel all of it. But this movie does not have that much power or impact for that matter.
The performances in the movie are not bad. They do not ruin the movie. Is Cyrus the best actress? Not at all, but she does pretty good in a movie like this. But the best thing about The Last Song is Kinnear. He seems to always elevate a movie to be better. He plays the father with such heart and emotion. Ronnie is not the only one suffering because of the marriage falling apart. And she really has no clue about what her father is really going through. Kinnear sits back and let’s Miley and Liam run with the movie, but he has the best scenes and the most significant ones.
The Last Song could almost be renamed Dear John 2. Maybe because Dear John just came out in February, but there are so many similarities between the two. Two people meeting one summer and being in “love.” They have family issues, specifically father problems. Dear John was not a breath of fresh air and neither is The Last Song. But I am certain there will be plenty of times to get it right considering Sparks has several books that will become movies.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.