- 26 Apr 10
Latest Nicolas Sparks adaptation is a far, far better thing than current rivals Remember Me and Dear John.
Rebellious teen Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) is not best pleased to find herself holed up in a Georgia beach house with her adorable kid brother (Bobby Coleman) and estranged father (Greg Kinnear) for an entire summer. Pissed at dad and most everybody else, our stroppy heroine is in crisis. A musical protégée, as the film opens, she has already walked away from a piano scholarship to Julliard and fallen in with A Bad Crowd. There are, however, signs that a kinder, gentler Ronnie lurks beneath her snarling surface. Can anyone who’s prepared to play mommy to a nest of Loggerhead sea turtles be all bad? Smitten local Lothario Will (Liam Hemsworth, Ms. Cyrus’ real life beau) thinks not and goes all out to win the girl.
The 34,678,980th adaptation of a Nicolas Sparks novel of the year features all the elements of that milieu we’ve come to fear. Small Southern town? Check. Dying young subplot? Check. A romance wherein opposites attract? Yep.
Happily, The Last Song plays these rather familiar chords with gusto. Julie Anne Robinson’s picture is handsomely mounted and smartly written but it’s the cast who ensure the film is a far, far better thing than current rivals Remember Me and Dear John. Messrs. Coleman, Kinnear and Hemsworth are reliably endearing though the movie ultimately belongs to Ms. Cyrus, a lovely and accomplished actress who has long since outgrown her Saturday morning TV origins.
We’ve often marvelled at Ms. Cyrus’ snaggle-tooth, that cute distinguishing feature that sets her apart from all the other Disney kids. Her refusal to bow to the dental fascism that defines, say, the High School Musical crew, now seems emblematic of a larger star quality. Hannah Montana may be no more, but Ms. Cyrus will be with us for as long as she pleases.