Director: Julie Anne Robinson
Writers: Jeff Van Wie
Based on the novel by: Nicholas Sparks
Producers: Adam Shankman/Jennifer Gibgot/Tish Cyrus/Dara Weintraub
Starring: Miley Cyrus/Liam Hemsworth/Greg Kinnear
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 107 minutes
Miley Cyrus hangs up Hannah Montana’s blonde wig and microphone to prove that she can play a serious role in a movie and she succeeds in doing this…kind of. The massive problem with The Last Song is that it uses a lot of clichés and the story had some cheesy, predictable moments including a couple of scenes that just felt like they were randomly placed so the movie could come across as a romantic tearjerker with meaning. So Miley Cyrus plays Ronnie who spends the summer with her father (HA!) and her little brother. While there, she meets a young boy and they fall in love but the couple must brace themselves for a turn of the worst. The story itself is basically split into two halves but unfortunately, the first part dominates and sticks in your mind. On the one half, you have a laughable attempt at trying to substantiate teenage infatuation and you have the other part, which takes the story and twists it into a more dramatic and interesting half. Unfortunately it wasn’t done very well (if it was, the movie would have got a much higher score). The story is just predictable all the way through and you could practically guess what was going to happen in every scene so there were hardly any surprises.
Miley Cyrus doesn’t do a fantastic job playing the confusing Ronnie, but she doesn’t do bad either. There were times when she was bad and times when it felt authentic but most of the scenes she was in didn’t feel genuine at all. It’s quite a big step for Miley Cyrus to do such a serious role considering she’s used to playing the more comical, children’s roles and I think she does an average job taking that in consideration. However, she needs to spend a little money on acting lessons if she wants to advance in her acting career in the future. Liam Hemsworth doesn’t do a good job either as love-struck Will, it didn’t feel like he was genuinely in love with her, which was what his character is supposed to do when first meeting Ronnie. The real actor that, not only stole the movie, but also saved it from getting a lower score with his fantastic performance was Greg Kinnear, who played Ronnie’s father, Steve. He was the only actor in the entire movie that was believable.
Another problem The Last Song also has is the characters and the character development, especially Ronnie. The characters aren’t really loveable or memorable at all, except for Greg Kinnear’s character, but they wasn’t hateable either, you just didn’t feel anything for them and you didn’t care whether Ronnie or Will got together or not. The character development was nowhere to be seen, Ronnie goes from a bad-to-the-bone rebellious teenager to the perfect daughter in 0.5 seconds, there was no story or journey of how she got from point A to B and that spoils the movie a little. You also hated how Ronnie was supposed to be spending quality time with her father, who she hasn’t seen in a while, and yet all she does is obsess over a boy. You really wanted to like Ronnie but she did things that made you feel the opposite and so she remained unlikeable throughout the movie until the last five or ten minutes.
I would say that The Last Song isn’t bad but it’s nowhere near as good as The Notebook. The places in the movie were atmospheric for the romantic part of the story and made for some nice scenery. Alas, the story itself is so-so and didn’t really deliver much at all excusing the second half, which picks the movie up from the ground a little. If you watch this movie thinking it could exceed The Notebook, you’ll be very disappointed but if you liked The Notebook and A Walk To Remember, then there is a possibility you’d like this too. For me, it was average and I’m afraid to say that it’s just another over-clichéd love story dressed in something that tries to be serious and intelligent.