Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Longest Ride - 5 stars out of 10

The Longest Ride - 5 stars out of 10

Nicholas Sparks serves up another tear-jerker, but it falls short of our expectation that all Sparks stories will be as good as “The Notebook.”  The concept is similar – a love story is told through letters and flashbacks, but there are enough unique pieces to this puzzle (the love stories involve two different sets of characters, there is some action, one character is in physical danger) that it doesn’t feel like an uncreative repeat.  Britt Robertson was decent but her performance in “Tomorrowland” far outshines this one.  I felt the same way about Scott Eastwood – he’s decent but not very memorable.  Alan Alda is the real reason to watch this film.  From the moment that you first hear his unique voice, you won’t be able to turn your attention away.  Oona Chaplin was the unexpected surprise of the film.  She has excellence in her blood (granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, great-granddaughter of Eugene O’Neill), and her performance was mesmerizing.  Perhaps I connected with her because I am a teacher, but I found her character to be one of the best-written characters I have encountered in a while.  I can see this role being a launching point for her career.  The film has some unnecessary sexual content that easily could have been implied but, in our “50 Shades of Grey” society, I suppose that directors feel the pressure to compete.  It is sad that a nice love story has to be tarnished by films of the same ilk as the aforementioned grotesquely sexual trash that make it seem like every love story has to be about sex.  I much prefer Ira’s story, which revolves around traditional love and values.  All of that aside, “The Longest Ride” is an enjoyable story with a heartwarming twist ending, but don’t walk into this film expecting “The Notebook.”

[Pictured: This is definitely the more memorable portion of the story]

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