Sappy, predictable and boring. These are the words that sum up Julie Anne Robinson’s newest film The Last Song, based on the book by celebrated author Nicholas Sparks, who co-wrote the screenplay.
Fifteen-year-old Ronnie Miller (Miley Cyrus) and her younger brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are shipped off to a small beach town in Georgia where their dad Steve Miller (Greg Kinnear) lives. Ronnie and Steve don’t exactly get along and her mother thinks this will be a good thing for them to do.
Cyrus is going for the bad girl persona, her grades are in the toilet, and she got caught for stealing, but she’s incredibly talented at playing the piano. The first twenty or so minutes of the film are just Ronnie and Steve getting into arguments and Ronnie storming off.
However, the bad girl attitude goes away once Ronnie meets a one-dimensional stud named Will Blakely (Liam Itemsworth) with perfect blonde hair, a perfect body, traditional snooty rich parents and oh! he works at the aquarium, helping animals.
In fact all the boys and girls in the entire town are one-dimensional and have perfect looks, even the town douche bag named Marcus (Nick Lashaway). Why couldn’t there be at least one imperfect person, like a homeless person or something? I guess that’s not Spark’s style.
Within a matter of days, or a matter of minutes in the film, Ronnie and Will are off frolicking in the water, playing in a fish tank at the aquarium, blowing underwater kisses at each other and a whole bunch of other typical cheesy romantic movie scenes that are sure to make the woman in the audience go “oh how cute” and the men go “oh brother”.
Probably the dumbest scene in the entire film is when Will and his fellow perfect-teethed buddies compete in a beach volleyball tournament. The whole time I was wondering what the point of this volleyball scene was. It didn’t move the progress of the film nor did it affect anyone or anything. I assume it was just an excuse for the guys to show their studly bodies without shirts.
Of course, it’s just not a Nicholas Sparks story if there’s no tragedy, and soon the happiness goes away when the movie enters the emotional time-to-get-out-your-handkerchief part.
We soon find out that Greg Kinnear has cancer and is hospitalized because of it. And he takes a turn for the worse and the film becomes one big cry fest. At this point the film starts to drag and goes into the Hallmark Zone.
Miley Cyrus wasn’t convincing in the role of Ronnie. She did an all right job with the upbeat parts but her acting skills weren’t strong enough for the emotional scenes. Whenever she cried I didn’t buy it one bit. I’ll give her an “A” for effort, she definitely tried, but she’s just not there yet.
Greg Kinnear was the best part of the film. If only there had been more of him. He was kind of funny at the beginning, and toward the end when he was hospitalized he was very convincing as a dying person. He had a lot of regrets about the way things turned out between him and his kids and you believe him.
Unfortunately, Greg Kinnear wasn’t enough to save The Last Song. For a movie like this there has to be a convincing cast and for the most part it didn’t have one. Sadly the best part of the film was during the end credits when the new Miley Cyrus song was playing. She can’t act that well but she sure can sing.