: 3.5 out of 5 Reels
: PG-13 for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action
Released in Theaters
: April 10, 2015
Best for Ages
: Drama, Romance
: 139 minutes
: George Tillman, Jr.
: 20th Century Fox
: Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin
: The Longest Ride
A young couple ponder their future together after they cross paths with
an older man looking back on his decades-long romance with his beloved
: Horses, romance and Nicholas
Sparks. What could be better? If you love Nicholas Sparks, that is. It
took me a long time to really get my head around the Nicholas Sparks
brand -- you know, stories full of romance, drama, heartbreak, couples
struggling to stay together as outside forces threaten to break them
But something inside me finally accepted these stories
into my heart (yes, I realize how cheesy that sounds), and now I really
like them. Well, some more than others. "Nights in Rodanthe" and "The
Best of Me" frustrated the heck out of me. I liked the movies overall,
but didn't like the endings. Those of you who've seen them know how they
end. I didn't see "Dear John," but my daughter said she wept through
it. But "The Longest Ride"? Definitely my favorite Nicholas Sparks movie
to date. I like it as much as "The Notebook"!
The story centers
on a young couple in North Carolina whose paths cross at exactly the
wrong moment in their lives. Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood, who has his
dad Clint's good looks and manly-but-tender demeanor) is a champion bull
rider who's just getting back into the game after a serious injury.
Despite the risks, he continues bull-riding to help pay for the ranch
where his mom still lives.
Sophia (Britt Robertson, who wow'd me
in "Cake" and can also be seen in the upcoming sci-fi thriller
"Tomorrowland" with George Clooney) is a college student about to embark
on her dream job in New York City’s art world. She's leaving in two
months, so this relationship won't go anywhere, right?
and Sophia ponder their future together, their lives suddenly intertwine
with an older man, Ira (Alan Alda), who is looking back on a long
romance with his beloved wife Ruth (Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin -
Charlie's granddaughter - play the younger Ira and Ruth in flashbacks).
As Sophia reads Ira's love letters to the aging man, we see parallels in
their love stories.
"The Longest Ride" is similar to other
Nicholas Sparks movies, in that there's nothing too surprising here, but
it's still a compelling story. Maybe it's because the two leads are not
only gorgeous, but they have good chemistry. Or maybe it's because Alan
Alda is the elder romantic here. I mean, who doesn't love Alan Alda?
17-year-old daughter saw this movie with me, and she just about flipped
out when I pointed to the screen and said, "That's Hawkeye from MASH."
She couldn't believe it! But I'm so glad he's continued to work through
the years, because there's no one like Alan Alda.
And maybe it's
because of the enduring and timeless message of this movie -- that love
conquers all. And while you don't know what the future will bring, if
you commit to love someone til death do you part, things have a way of
working out. My goodness, I've caught the Nicholas Sparks fever!
THE DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):
A woman undresses before showering as a man watches. They begin kissing
and it's presumed that they have sex in the shower. Other scenes show
them in bed together. Not much nudity, although bare backsides are
: An experienced bull-rider
is thrown and severely injured, both in flashbacks, online videos, and
present time. A man is shown unconscious and bleeding at the wheel of a
car that's crashed along the road.
: Infrequent use of "hell," "damn" and "bulls--t."
Characters, including college students who appear to be of legal age,
drink socially at bars. A college student gets falling-down drunk and
has to be driven home.
Which Kids Will Like It?
Kids aged 13 and older who like romantic dramas or Nicholas Sparks movies.
Will Grownups Like It?
"The Longest Ride" is a solid romance that follows the typical Nicholas
Sparks storylines of drama, heartbreak, and couples working against the
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the shop for fresh
editorial content. Images in this review used courtesy of 20th Century F
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