Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Last Song

If you are a person who cringes when you see The Notebook on television or look with distaste upon the placement of a Nicolas Sparks novel on a bestseller list, you're most likely not going to like his newest movie, The Last Song.

On the other hand, if you loved watching A Walk to Remember and anxiously await each new Nicolas Sparks novel, you probably still won't like The Last Song.

The Last Song is the story of a sullen teenager, Ronnie Miller, and the summer she spends with her estranged father. During the summer, she forms friendships, makes enemies, finds love (shocker), faces tragedy (what else would you expect from Nicolas Sparks?), and forms a strange attachment to a nest of sea turtles. Sure it's not an Oscar-winning plot, but it's typical, cheesy Nicolas Sparks fare. I enjoyed the novel adaption of the book for what it was--a fun, short read. However, I found no such enjoyment in the movie.

There were many problems I had with The Last Song. The first of which being the movie's lead, Miley Cyrus. It would've been shocking if Miley's acting in the movie had been great, but I at least expected her to be able to tackle this fairly unchallenging material. Unfortunantly, even a decent performance was too much to ask of her. When Miley wasn't unflatteringly puckering up her lips seemingly in an attempt to copy Keira Knightly's signature expression, she was spitting out lines with acting even less convincing than you find on her show, Hannah Montana.

In fact, as I watched The Last Song, I felt as if I were watching an extended episode of Hannah Montana--a really bad extended episode of Hannah Montana. When Ronnie tells her crush that she has a secret to reveal, I half expected her to tell him that she's secretly a pop star. Most of the jokes seemed to be geared a those 12 and under rather than at a teen audience. I found one scene, in which Ronnie has a cartoonish faceoff with a raccoon to be particularly excruciating. 

The movie's faults cannot be solely contributed to Miley's poor performance. Even a more talented actress couldn't have saved this train wreck of a film. Given that I enjoyed the novel, I was surprised to find the Sparks actually wrote the movie script before he wrote the book. That being so, I would have to say that the movie was like a really poor rough draft that he cleaned up to publish as a book. While the book had blatant foreshadowing that would be nearly impossible to miss (in fact, it probably could have done with less foreshadowing), the movie had almost none. Events just seemed to happen with no building action. Ronnie goes from a rebellious teenager (although that really seemed to consist of a pout, black clothing, and a nose stud) to a sunny girl admitting her love for a boy (that she's dated, at most, a couple of weeks) in the span of a song.

I'd try to sum up my opinion of the movie, but I think I've already made my distaste of it fairly clear.

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