The Last Song (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/04/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 107 mins

Watchable drama that never strays too far from the Nicholas Sparks formula but succeeds thanks to likeable performances from Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear.

What's it all about?
Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, The Last Song is based on the novel by Nicholas 'The Notebook' Sparks (although the screenplay was actually written first) and stars Miley Cyrus as rebellious New York teenager Ronnie Miller, who's sent to the Georgia coast along with her younger brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) so they can to spend the summer with their estranged father, Steve (Greg Kinnear). It transpires that Ronnie has turned her back on her prodigious musical talent (despite having been accepted to Julliard without even auditioning) in order to spite Steve, but she soon begins to reconnect with both her father and her passion for the piano as a result of a tentative romance with shirtless volleyball player Will (Liam Hemsworth).

The Good
The Last Song was fairly transparently conceived as a vehicle to enable Miley Cyrus to move away from Hannah Montana and into more grown-up roles. As such, it succeeds admirably. Cyrus delivers an impressive performance that's surprisingly well-rounded, in that Ronnie isn't exactly the world's easiest teenager to be around and is just as stroppy and difficult as, well, a real teenager.

There's also strong support from Bobby Coleman (one of the better child actors around) and the always-reliable Greg Kinnear, while Liam Hemsworth fulfils the primary criteria of looking good with his shirt off but also manages to generate some appealing chemistry with Cyrus, even if both his character and the romance in general are a little underwritten.

The Bad
It's fair to say that The Last Song doesn't stray too far from the tried-and-tested Nicholas Sparks formula (picturesque locations, kisses on beaches, local scandal, a terminal illness, etc.) and the film is entirely predictable as a result but there's nothing wrong with cliches providing they're marshalled effectively and director Julie Anne Robinson does a good job of pushing all the required emotional buttons.

Worth seeing?
Not as good as The Notebook but better than the recent Dear John, The Last Song is an emotionally engaging drama that succeeds thanks to strong performances from Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear. Worth seeing if you like this sort of thing.

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The Last Song (PG)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 23:28

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