Romance movies are one of the hardest genres to pull off. Making the basic ‘boy meets girl’ motif interesting is difficult. Many have attempted to deliver a rousing romantic tale and instead fall into a forgettable heap. ‘The Longest Ride’ firmly places itself among this pile. Whilst competently acted with some interesting story points, the latest Nicholas Sparks’ novel adaption barely registers.
Former champion bull rider Luke (Scott Eastwood) is looking for a comeback. Meeting college student Sophia (Britt Robertson), her encouragement drives Luke towards success. As their romance and careers blossom, fate deals them another unexpected hand. An elderly hospital patient Ira (Alan Alda) own past mirrors the newly connected lovers. What Ira says changes their world proving love can transcend any obstacle.
Millions of Nicholas Sparks readers will probably enjoy ‘The Longest Ride’. They’ll know what to expect with pretty people, picturesque scenery and a soft rock soundtrack in place. This formula is as old as cinema although it’s doubtful ‘The Longest Ride’ will endure in the memory. Eastwood and Robertson display the crucial genuine chemistry. Coupled with a story mostly steeped in realism exploring love and sacrifice, ‘The Longest Ride’ isn’t quite a lost cause.
The completely far-fetched ending ruins it. The way the character’s problems are instantly resolved defies belief destroying every shred of plot credibility. Until then ‘The Longest Ride’ seemed to be going somewhere despite being a generally listless experience. The lazy direction by George Tillman Jnr often works against the performances and vague dashes of intrigue. It’s also sad seeing Alda slumming it in the ‘wise elderly man’ role with his success in M.A.S.H. seemingly a distant memory.
Lumbered with an atrocious ending and predictable plotting, ‘The Longest Ride’ is less than engrossing. Romance fiction has recently nose-dived with this production proving more work is needed to conjure an authentic romantic cinema experience.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 3
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.