The Last Song

      This film is the  second feature based on a Nicholas Sparks novel to hit theaters this year. Pop sensation Miley Cyrus returns to the big screen without her Hanna Montana wig or fan following. The Last Song right off from the start doesn’t have the emotional depth as Sparks’ previous Dear John, but even that isn’t saying much. This movie, like all of Sparks’ novels, is set near the east coast with overly dramatic themes and the smell of certain death before the film ends. Cyrus miraculously doesn’t sing in this film, even though one of her new songs is used as the trailer and end credits theme song. Although Dear John seems to be aimed towards a college crowd, The Last Song appears to cater to middle and high school ages, with Cyrus’ character using the word “like” excessively.

      Ronnie (Cyrus) and her little brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are dropped off to stay with their father (Kinnear) for the summer at his beach house on the shores of Georgia. Ronnie’s bad behavior in New York follows her around, spewing hateful remarks towards her father and instantly making friends with a bad influence. She meets the local popular boy Will (Hemsworth), who drops all his previous engagements to focus on the new girl in town. Their relationship blossoms overnight when Ronnie selflessly tries to project sea turtle eggs. After her father reveals he has cancer and is dying, Ronnie must reevaluate her attitude and make the most of the time she has left with her father, whom she knows nothing about.

      Looking back at Sparks’ novels, the bases for each of the movie based scripts are very similar. The father figure in Message in a Bottle, Dear John and again here are strikingly similar. It’s pretty understandable what’s on the menu when you sit down for one of these films, which has encouraged a lack of sympathy in what would normally be a tear jerking film. Cyrus’s presence alone ruins any kind of fundamental emotion a normal audience might feel. Her lack of acting experience in film is obvious in her first handful of scenes. Cyrus is used as nothing more than being a puppet spitting out lines she doesn’t understand; much like the recent interview she did admitting she doesn’t write her songs, just sings what is put in front of her.

      Clearly Cyrus got more out of this film than anyone else did, as she is now dating her Australian co-star Hemsworth. Both Oscar nominee Kinnear and Preston do little to make this film feel more grown up as they sink down to the drama queen level of other Cyrus co-stars. The film’s director comes solely from television episodes and it’s obvious with the less than creative transitions and ordinary editing choices. Produced by another Cyrus, Miley’s mother, the film uses the beautiful Georgia landscape as background only, when it could have become an important character. There are scenes like the wedding after party where so much immature, amateur dialogue is used in the film, it sinks to  the status of a movie special  on Lifetime, which creates a loss of all interest in this film. .

      Final Thought – Cyrus should stick to music and make this the last film.

Grade C

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Mark Shell