This week on “Justin Hall At The Movies,” I’ll be reviewing two young lovers as they prepare to take “The Longest Ride.”
Movie Review The Longest Ride
The Longest Ride is the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation and when I hear his name, two words cross my mind: Unintentional comedy. That’s definitely the case again with this movie, but it’s not nearly as schmaltzy as previous adaptations have been. I still wish that were saying something.
It stars Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) as Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to stage a comeback and Britt Robertson as Sophia, a college student with a promising internship at an art museum. They have a date together one night and during so, they encounter an elderly man named Ira (Alan Alda) in a car accident. During his stay in the hospital, Sophia saves his most precious possession: a box full of old letters he wrote his sweetheart, Ruth (Oona Chaplin).
The movie divides its time back and forth between Sophia and Luke’s romance with Ira’s flashbacks to how he met and married Ruth. Alda squeezes in a few good moments, but the rest of the cast is not nearly as convincing or fleshed out. Eastwood definitely has his dad’s looks, but sorely lacking in talent.
Another problem with the movie is the rehashing of durable old romantic clichés such as Sophia wanting to choose between her job and her love for Luke. He faces the same dilemma between bull riding and her. Anybody with enough common sense can almost see this coming a mile away. I think I pretty much gave away the climax.
You’re not going to see much in The Longest Ride that you haven’t seen in a lot of other Nicholas Sparks films including The Notebook, A Walk to Remember or Dear John. This movie may not quite be the unintentional laughingstock of previous Sparks films, but it’s sure close to joining that club. It’s contrived, formulaic, forced, and so syrupy sentimental that you’ll be expecting to get a cavity. Literally.
(Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action.)
Until next time, White County, this is Justin Hall saying I’ll see you AT THE MOVIES!