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I watched this film one afternoon on Sky Movies and thought it looked OK, but I expected Miley's acting to not be up to scratch and I now have to take that back.
Basic plot - without any spoilers!
The film focuses on sister and brother (Miley Syrus & Bobby Coleman) being sent to stay with their father at his beach house. Ronnie (Miley Syrus) blames her father for her parent divorce and while Jonah (Bobby Coleman) enjoys spending time with his father (Steve Miller played by Greg Kinnear), Ronnie rebels. She soon meets Will Blakelee (Liam Hemsworth) and the holiday romance soon blossoms. It is this romance that begins to open up her heart and she begins to reconnect with her father through their mutual love of music.
The film has the usual ups and downs of a romance but has a unexpected twist which turns Ronnies world upside down. The film is a great story by Nicholas Sparks and based on his book of the same title. I was very impressed with Miley Cryus' acting and her portrayal of troubled Ronnie is spot on. The casting of Miley is a great pick. The portrayal of Ronnies father by Greg Kinnear is wonderful and you can only love him.
The film is just under 2 hours long but soons draws you in to the story. You quickly become attached to all the characters. and cannot help but get emotional! It is a film I will want to watch again and again and have since brought the DVD.
The Last Song, starring the ever popular Miley Cyrus and the always great Greg Kinnear, was a movie I was not expecting very much from. The only real reason I happened to be settling down to watch this during the course of the week was to appease my girlfriend who usually does not agree with my choice of DVD rentals so I tend to affix one or two per month one that I think she would enjoy. Given the cast list and the content I was expecting this to be a teen angst based, melodramatic, cheesy and paint-by-numbers drama by it happens that I was pleasantly surprised.
The movie focuses on Miley Cyrus character Veronica, who along with her younger brother, stays with her father in a beach house for the summer after the divorce of her parents which you gather is around 2-3 years prior. Veronica has taken the split badly and resents both parents and the movie begins showing her isolation and unwillingness to be part of this "arrangement". To her credit Cyrus plays this role well and is a far better actress than people have given her credit for previously. She takes the difficult role well and given her character is key to the story she drives the movie and is a key player in the emotional success of the movie.
From the moment the parents have a conversation in which the mother admits tearfully that "we hurt them" you begin to realise this movie may have an emotional and poignant core rather than being a fluffy drama. Greg Kinnear helps straight away give the movie a good base with his sterling performance as the father trying to cope in the knowledge that his daughters actions, which also involve trouble with the law, are partly his fault.
Its initially very hard to sympathise with Cyrus character as she is so unwilling to even try and seems like a typical teenager but as we learn about her caring side, as we see her fall in love and begin to embrace hobbies she previously neglected we being to warm to her and realise she has nicer side that has simply been washed away under a barrage of hurt.
What unravels therefore is an emotional tearjerker in which a family torn about by a divorce begins to look at and learn from its mistakes and accept that whatever has happened is in the past and the time has come to move on.
Its well acted, well directed with an excellent script and perfectly pitched story which will appeal to all. A good family drama as well as an ideal date-movie for a dvd night it ticks a lot of boxes and people should not rule it simply because of the presence of Miley Cyrus!
Also on CIAO
When I heard about The Last Song , I couldn't wait to see it. I had planned to go the cinema to see it although didn't get around to it , and so as soon as the film was released on DVD I rushed to buy a copy. I loved the movie , The Notebook , which is also based on a book by Nicholas Sparks ,just like this film , and so I had high expectations. I hadn't read the book , still havn't and so there fore cannot compare it to the film.
The Last Song is a 2010 American movie which comes under the drama and romance genres ; the film is based on the book ' The Last Song' by Nicholas Sparks , who also wrote the book , The Notebook (also a film!). The movie was released in the United kingdom on April 30th 2010. The film stars Miley Cyrus. The movie which is a PG runs for one hundred and seven minutes. The DVD is currently available to buy from Amazon for a price of £11.99.
The Last Song follows Ronnie , a sulky teenager who is mad at her father for divorcing her mother. Once a talented pianist , she refuses to play the piano since her father left. When Ronnie and her younger brother Jonah go to spend the summer with their father in Georgia , Ronnie meets a young man who she falls in love with. Ronnie soon 'softens' up , and begins to treat her father better , especially when she discovers the horrible truth , and it is music that heals her pain! Watch The Last Song!
I love a good romance film and so I really enjoyed this movie as it is a real heart-warmer. In fact I would say that it was one of the best films of this year. I thought that the film had a really emotional plot and whatever the characters were feeling , whether it be happiness , sadness , laughter , anger etc , the viewer felt it too. Although , I will admit that I did find the plot to be a little predictable at times , but it wasn't enough to put me off the movie. Another negative criticism I have concering the plot was the speed at how fast it went. It would start off slow , and then go fast , and so it felt as though some parts were rushed which didn't give the viewer a chance to 'catch up' with what was happening at times.
I am quite a fan of Miley Cyrus , and so it was great to see her in something else , besides Hannah Montana. I didn't really like the main character of Ronnie to begin with as she came across as a real spoilt brat. Towards the end of the movie , I did feel as though I had warmed to her a little bit more. I felt that Miley played her role quite well , and she has matured so much , although at times you could see that she was struggling with some scenes , especially the emotional scenes.There was great on-screen chemistry between Ronnie (Miley) and her love-interest Will ( Liam Hemsworth) (clearly off screen too , as the two are said to be dating in real life).
If you're looking for a romantic summer movie , check this out.
Thanks for reading
Augut 16th 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
There is always something so shamelessly manipulative about anything that has Nicholas Sparks' name written on the cover. Tragedy lurks around every corner, waiting to strike at all the right moments, hoping to reduce the audience to tears. Far-fetched, inconceivable, unconvincing, out of the blue, it doesn't matter. Once you have people crying, the producers will be applauding - it's the sound of cash piling up at the box office. Perhaps "The Last Song" tries too hard this time. It starts with a weak premise, a scenario we have seen too many times before. It wants to use the same formula, add some sweet, good-looking characters, combine them with family troubles and ultimately it wants us all to cry. No doubt this will push all the right buttons for some people, but hopefully not too many. The film is a generic, formulaic, lazy and bland experience with no true emotions that the audience can relate to.
Teen icon/pop phenomenon Miley Cyrus is Ronnie, a rebellious musical genius who is sent to her father's (Greg Kinnear) place on the beach for the summer. Her mother (Kelly Preston) seems nice enough, but she's been divorced for a while now. She hates her dad, and blames him for the family's split. This hate is hard to identify, since the stained glass repairing Steve appears to be one of the nicest guys on the planet. Her unenthusiastic attitude towards her father leads her to have a negative feeling towards men in general. She is an incredibly talented pianist we're told, and is planning to turn down her guaranteed placement at Julliard's. Something that happened between her, her father and the endless piano lessons must have put her off. This is never shown, but barely hinted at. So we're left to wonder: what's all the fuss about? And what's with this selfish recluse? She dresses in black, a classic sign of rebellion and looks grumpy even though she is naturally surrounded by beach hunks. As she walks by, she quite literally bumps into one of the most attractive men there. Will (Cyrus' real-life boyfriend Liam Hemsworth), a volleyball player, shows interest in her. Through various preposterous coincidences, they keep running into each other. She dislikes him at first, but he's too darn good-looking to ignore. He has a killer smile, making her stone-cold heart melt every time.
I say she falls for his looks, because it can't be anything else. Will is given absolutely no characterisation, except for the fact that he is a star volleyball player and shows off this well-built torso whenever he finds the opportunity. What else can she like about him? We're not shown or told anything else about his character - so naturally, it has to be the looks, right? They bond, she slowly steers herself away from the peeved off façade and starts getting on with her dad a little more. She also has a younger brother (Bobby Coleman) who she loves to bits, and apart from a few wisecrack lines, his character is also largely ignored. This is all about Miley and Liam competing for hottest couple of the year. They bond over sea-turtles (really), a mud-fight and a fancy wedding. There are some ups and downs but they are so easily solved. Mostly because the troubles they face are so trivial in the first place.
Being based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, there is bound to be some drama. A death of some sort that should tear everyone's hearts to bits. And yes, the film does have its share of death(s) but it comes at such a convenient, nicely laid out timetable that this dubious bit of writing is laughable at best. Adding the younger brother character was a genius move from Sparks, since a kid crying has a more profound, lasting impact on the audience than an unlikable rebellious-but-recently-turned-good teenage girl moping around. The dramatic moments feel disjointed and disappointingly stale. The film had so much fun on the beach with the attractive couple that they obviously forgot to add something touching and more serious; which is why the director (Julie Anne Robinson) tries to pack as much of the third-act with weepy drama. None of it feels inspired, and it's hard to feel sad for something that just feels right. It would be wrong if everyone survived by the end of a Sparks novel. Now that would be a reason to cry. Or for some people, a reason to rejoice - Sparks has finally let go of this boring, repetitive narrative. But this? Seeing something that was coming from the beginning of the film, taking place exactly as you thought it would pan out, is not at all moving, let alone even gently stirring.
The cast does its best to hold the weak film together. It's instantly obvious that the role of Ronnie is too much of a challenge for Cyrus. She has some strong moments but some pretty awful ones too. She doesn't portray the internal turmoil of her character well, and most of what she portrays is one-dimensional and restricted. Someone with more experience and more charms would have made this film more watchable. Cyrus is young, and has time to improve over the years and she does certainly have a likable quality about her. It may take a while, but there will be a day when Cyrus will comfortably take on a leading role without much media scrutiny. Hemsworth is fine as the other half, and it's hard to judge an actor's ability when he has so little to do. He has a big part in the female protagonist's life, and yet all we get is that he's a nice guy with the heart of gold. Saving this film from falling into the pit of total disaster is Kinnear, whose outstanding comedic talent is put to good use here. He deserves a better script of course, but being the best, the absolute best and most memorable in any film surely counts for something.
Ironically, the last song of "The Last Song," "When I Look At You" that is played whilst the credits roll, is one of the few features that actually work. The intense ballad sung by the talented vocalist at least gives us something to take away from this otherwise empty experience. There have been some good adaptations of Nicholas Sparks' novels. "The Notebook" and mostly recently, even "Dear John" was in fact a pleasure to watch. But "The Last Song" immediately suffers from the lack of a true star in the leading role.
***This is a film only review***
Teen movies...dontcha just love them?
Of course I thought I had grown out of them a long time ago (I shall never see 40 again after all, never mind 16) however having a daughter of 13 who is also a huge Miley Cyrus fan meant I found myself at the cinema watching the latest teen offering "The Last Song" which stars her.
The film was written by Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote the book at the same time. Sparks is probably best known for his previous teen hit "A Walk to Remember".
The point of this film was to launch Miley Cyrus as a serious actress and movie star - not just the girl who is so obviously playing herself in "Hannah Montana". Sadly I fear Miss Cyrus will have to work on her acting skills as "The Last Song" is a bit of a turkey - and much of the blame can be laid at her door.
Veronica "Ronnie" Miller is a highly gifted pianist, with a place awaiting her at Juilliard Music School. However since her parents broke up three years before, she has refused to play and also refuses to speak to her father, who has left the family home in New York to return to his home in a beach town in Georgia.
Ronnie and her brother Jonah are taken to Georgia for summer by their mother and we are introduced to a sulky and miserable Ronnie who just about manages to communicate with her father in grunts.
Ronnie meets local beefcake Will Blakelee when he is playing volleyball and bumps into her, knocking her milkshake all over her. The pair begin a fragile and rocky relationship and as the film progresses Ronnie has many obstacles to overcome in her Georgian summer as she falls in love, has her heart broken and has to deal with loss.
I appreciate I am well outwith the target audience for this film, so I will say before I continue that my daughter absolutely loved it.
I, however, hated it.
Cyrus has a measure of screen presence but she really cannot act. There, I said it. She is good at portraying herself on screen as a bubbly, happy teen, however her character in "The Last Song" is a troubled one and Cyrus just cannot do miserable, rebellious teen at all. It doesn't help that Ronnie is a character full of contradictions - she is mildly rebellious but in true Disney style (this is a Touchstone production) her character doesn't drink (the bad kids do of course) and instead of knocking ninepence out of a girl who sets her up for shoplifting or enjoy the bad karma the girl gets, she hands over the money her dad gave her for a smart dress for a wedding when the girl finds the chips are down.
In fact she is just impossibly and unbelievably decent - which makes you wonder why none of the girls in town like her and take delight in being nasty to her.
So our heroine is a victim from the start, damaged by a marriage break-up which turned her into a right little madam. I must admit about five minutes in I felt like slapping her and wondered why on earth her mother hadn't packed her off for therapy to try to knock the self-indulgent misery out of her, so lacking was any genuine anguish or pain in Cyrus' depiction of her.
Cyrus' love interest is played by her real life boyfriend, former "Neighbours" star Liam Hemsworth - and this is worth mentioning purely because of a distinct lack of chemistry between the pair. Hemsworth looks good - he appears shirtless in several scenes to display his pecs whilst playing volleyball - and overall his performance is reasonably decent - certainly his acting is far more convincing than Cyrus' - although I admit that's not much of a benchmark to compare against.
Sadly everything about his character, Will, is clichéd - he's the popular son of a local magnate who is going to an elite university and has his future planned out. When Ronnie reveals how gifted a pianist she is to Will rather than display any surprise or shock, he just smiles vacantly.
There is also a scene where Cyrus sings along to "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 in the car in a rather unremarkable manner which has Hemsworth commenting on how good a singer she is. He doesn't sound any more convinced when he says this than I felt when I heard Cyrus singing along.
Easily the best performance in the film, and for me the only real saving grace, is that of Greg Kinnear as Steve, Ronnie's father. There is something incredibly endearing about his character and his performance which emanates a warmth sadly lacking from anyone else in the film. Kinnear has to cope with a script which is overly sentimental and he somehow manages to stop the sentimentality overwhelming the viewer with an honest and touching performance which is multi-faceted and hugely impressive.
Ronnie's little brother Jonah is played confidently by Bobby Coleman but sadly Coleman's performance is a mixed one. In some scenes he is both genuinely touching and funny - those with Kinnear are excellent. He is less impressive with the wooden Cyrus - leading one to wonder how much he is influenced by the talent of those around him.
I must also mention the performance of Carly Chaikin as Blaze, the friend who betrays Ronnie. Chaikin's performance is vulnerable and touching - in fact watching her one wishes she were playing Ronnie as her ability to get the audience to empathise with a rather unsympathetic character is hugely impressive.
Sadly this film is let down by a narrative that seems to jump all over the place making it hard to understand what his happening or why people are behaving the way they do. The script is banal and relies on stereotyping characters and blatant emotional manipulation to supposedly satisfy the viewer. The emotional manipulation only really works when Greg Kinnear is on screen however - Cyrus' inability to connect with the audience renders her waterworks utterly benign and at times they are sadly laughable.
There was a fair bit of unintentional laughter from the audience when I saw this at the cinema - an audience I must say was 95% teenage girls, so that gives you an idea of how lame some of the acting was - never mind the script.
This is a film which really is for Miley Cyrus fans only. Clearly designed as a vehicle to launch Cyrus in more grown up roles, this falls flat on its face due to a poor script, pedestrian directing from Julie Anne Robinson and mostly due to a very badly miscast star. I suspect Robinson may well have had her hands tied slightly by the fact the Executive Producer on this film was none other than Tish Cyrus, Miley's mother.
Cyrus' charm is in her own personality - Hannah Montana worked because she played herself. Turn her into a moody teen and she can't do it - well, not in a manner that is believable anyway. Her failure to connect with the audience is surprisingly not it's biggest failing however - the written by numbers script takes that honour.
The best thing about the film is the location. It was filmed on Tybee Island outside Savannah in Georgia and for me this place was the star of the show, even outshining Greg Kinnear's sympathetic performance.
Tybee Island has some wonderful wild beaches, lighthouses and beach houses you would kill for, all of which look absolutely stunning in the film.
This is a film I really cannot recommend however - unless you are 13 and love Miley Cyrus of course - in which case your blind adoration will ensure you fail to spot just how bad she is in this, and how turgid the film is.
== The Last Song: Film Only ==
== Introduction ==
Me and my husband decided to go to the cinema last week on the 2 for 1 Orange Wednesday offer we get with our mobile phone contracts. I loved Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, and when I found out this film was based on another book by Sparks, I persuaded my romance hating husband to come and see it with me!
The film is, as I said, based on a book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the writer of the well known books: A Walk to Remember, The Notebook and Dear John, which have also been made into Blockbuster films.
The film stars Miley Cyrus- star of the popular kids show Hannah Montana on The Disney Channel, though this film is definitely not a "kids film", a preconception my husband made when he saw she starred in the leading role of the film, she is nothing like the character she plays in Hannah Montana, and is actually a very good actress when you take away the silly storylines!
I had not read the book before I went to see this film, but I have now started reading it...and so when I have finished it, I will come back and give my opinion on the book to film adaptation!
The films certification is PG (thematic material, small amount of violence, sensuality and mild language.)
== Plot ==
Ronnie Miller lives with her mother and younger brother Jonah in New York, has done all her life. But this summer she is been forced to go to stay with her dad, Steve, who split from her mum 3 years ago, since then she has refused to speak to him, and her attitude to life has gone out of the window, caught shoplifting, hanging around with the bad crowd, and giving up on her promising career in playing the piano...she has even refused an entry to the Juilliard School of Arts (an elite college in the US) to instead do nothing with her life.
When she gets to her dads beach house, the first thing she does is go out and fall into the wrong crowd...until she meets Will, the volleyball playing, aquarium working mechanic- he surprises her with his sweetness, and she surprises him with her hardness. But with their differences and everything standing between them, will their relationship ever be able to blossom? And will the truth revealed change their lives forever?
The story is one of love, romance, forgiveness and betrayal, will Ronnie be able to forgive her father for leaving her mother and will they ever bond.
== Opinion ==
The story is lovely. It is a very nice and "true" to life story, one that could really happen and probably does around the world daily. Ronnie is played very well by Miley Cyrus and the "moodiness" works very well with her in the main lead.
All main parts are played well actually, even down to the part of the young boy who plays 10 year old Jonah, his part is very heart warming, and adds a little humour to the story!
I like the fact that Nicholas Sparks co-wrote the screen play for this film, as it means the characters are exactly as they are in the book, and the story should stick to a similar pattern, of course some bits need to be changed to fit in with a 90 minute film rather than a 300+ page book, but this can be forgiven, and the fact the writer of the book was drafted in to help with the screen play, it shows me that the director and producers wanted the film to be a hit like the film, and not a huge different story which disappoints the audience.
The story as I said is amazing, very heart-warming, and extremely sad. I wouldn't go in there without some tissues in your bag that's for sure! The characters work very well together and are all played fantastically by the cast.
The sound track is excellent and works well with the story, I was shocked that Miley Cyrus wasn't singing all the way through- especially as it was called The Last Song, I was expecting her to be warbling away all the way through, although there is a little bit of the film where she sings a few lines of a song, it works well with the film and isn't over the top!!
I cannot really say too much about the story without giving away any of the twists and turns, it is just fabulous from the moment the opening credits come on screen right down to the last second of the film, there is never a dull moment of the film! I in fact was struggling to find a time to go to the bathroom (I am 23 weeks pregnant and need the bathroom every 20 minutes!!! So it was a necessity haha!), as there was never a moment when "nothing was happening" as there is with many other films! I actually wished I could pause the film!!!
I will most definitely be buying this film on DVD when it comes out, as it is a great girly film to have a good cry at!! My husband says he didn't enjoy it...but I am sure I saw a tear in his eye at parts...I just don't think he wanted to admit he enjoyed it!!!
== All in All ==
I give this film a huge 5 out of 5 stars, it is a great story, with fantastic characters...as I said earlier, I have not finished the book yet, and up to now (I am about half way through it), the story seems to have stuck to the same lines, just maybe got there a little quicker...but everything is happening in the correct order etc! And as I said earlier the characters are a excellent likeness to the books!
An amazing film which will make everyone coming away feeling uplifted...if a little teary!!
Well I saw the trailer and went to see it with my daughter. It's a PG certificate film and it states at the start that everything should be OK for children over 8. However there are obviously great voids in what I think an 8 year old would watch as hearing the word "pissed" and "crap" within the first 20-30 minutes probably was not what I had hoped for and indeed it brought nothing to the film to use that language.
My daugthter found the end quite upsetting, at age 8, so if you were thinking this film was a nice follow to Hannah Montana the Movie think again. I would have liked more engagement on the music aspect and the characters.
The brother - sister relationship in this is indeed very well played and their connection was believeable.
This storeyline for the film tried to cram in too many different angles to the detriment of the story of the central character I felt. I'm glad I have seen it, but next time I would not take my daughter. The DVD won't be on the Christmas list this year.