The holocaust of brain cells continues with another Nicholas Sparks novel adapted to the big screen, this one called the Last Song, as if it really matters. Miley Cyrus is the star, as is soon-to-be-Thor Liam Hemsworth (oh wait, that's his brother Chris), and Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear somehow got tricked into starring in this sapfest as well.
The Last Song has Miley Cyrus playing a rebellious and moody teenager who has a certifiably disturbing passion for sea turtles and who has been forced to spend the summer with her father. She is determined to hate it, even though he lives on a beach. Of course, her days brighten when she meets a rugged-but-rich dude who wants her as well, and the two engage in a rocky-but-meaningful relationship. There's some subplot about Miley Cyrus refusing to attend Julliard, and, since this is a Nicholas Sparks story, you know one of the main characters is going to die.
The problems with The Last Song are plentiful. For starters, the story is amazingly cliché, simplistic and eye-rolling cheesy - even for a Nicholas Sparks story. There have been plenty of very good coming-of-age stories set in summer beach towns throughout the years, and most manage to avoid the forced trials and tribulations the main characters have to go through in The Last Song. Miley Cyrus plays hard to get for an excruciatingly long time, which is a waste since we all know she's going to get with the guy. He finally wins her over with a valiant effort that no real person can relate to. For a summer fling, their relationship is shockingly rocky, thanks in part to the fact that Cyrus' character is a whining bitch no self respecting man would tolerate and in another part to the unnecessary snobby rich parents storyline thrown in just to make the movie even more ridiculous.
The best scenes are with Kinnear, but most of the movie is focused on the less-interesting relationship between Cyrus and Hemsworth. Hemsworth is fine, but Cyrus is pretty dreadful; I'd say serious acting is not her thing, but one glaring issue is that her deep voice makes it hard to believe she is a 16-year old, even though she is a 16-year old. Regardless of whether she has any acting talent, she was a poor choice for lead actress. She and Hemsworth have little to no chemistry, other than what is written in the script.
The Last Song is so bland it's actually watchable, but that shouldn't be considered praise. The Notebook, admittedly, was decent, but that was because it starred to quality actors who had sizzling onscreen (and off-screen) chemistry; The Last Song completely lacks that element.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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