Directed by: Julie Anne Robinson
Premise: An adaptation of the novel by Nicholas Sparks. A troubled teenage girl (Miley Cyrus) and her younger brother spend the summer at their father’s (Greg Kinnear) beach town home. While there she reconciles her relationship with her father and falls for a local boy (Liam Hemsworth).
What Works: The moments between the father, played by Greg Kinnear, and his two children, played by Miley Cyrus and Bobby Coleman, work very well and Kinnear and Coleman have a nice rapport.
What Doesn’t: The Last Song is not a particularly well-made film. There are a lot of bad edits and overbearing music cues. The film is very sentimental and keeps sabotaging talented actors with lousy dialogue. There are also a ton of unresolved or unnecessary subplots, mostly between Cyrus’ characters and other young women in the community. The romance between Cyrus and Hemsworth’s characters is almost completely done in montage and we are expected to believe that they are in love with each other but that love is never presented in any concrete action. By now, following The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle, adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels have shown a very limited range of characters, settings, and plot devices and The Last Song comes across like a film that’s already been seen many times before.
Bottom Line: The Last Song is a very uneven film that follows a generic Nicholas Sparks outline. It tries to be sentimentally manipulative but the film is too clumsily handled to succeed even at that.
Episode: #284 (April 18, 2010)