My disclaimer: I like feel-good movies. I watch movies to relax and I can't do that with certain movies. That's why I don't like horror, thriller, or suspense. I'm not into indie films and blue collar comedies. I'm selective of action flicks and sci-fi. I love romantic comedy, chick flicks, and coming of age movies. I'm selective of drama.
A screenplay and novel written by Nicholas Sparks, well that's a drama. So I was wary of watching "The Last Song". I do not like "The Notebook" because I hate the ending. Too sad with too many wasted years. And class divisions anger me (which was also in "The Last Song").
Speaking of which, the connection between Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in "The Last Song" was as apparent as the connection between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook." It added to the movie. Their characters' relationship is believable because they did get along very well.
I liked the plot of "The Last Song". It's a tear-jerker, but that's a given. Yet there were moments of very well placed humor. The sub-plot between Ronnie (Cyrus' character) and Blaze (Carly Chaikin) raises an important topic about peer influences and abuse. I knew there was a major conflict that would tear apart the relationship between Ronnie and Will (Hemsworth's character). I was on the look-out for it, and I didn't see when it would come. That's a tsk-tsk. I think delicate touches of foreshadowing adds depth and excitement. Too much ruins a movie. Too little, as in the case of "The Last Song", leaves the audience feeling cheated. It was like a lightning bolt under a blazing sun. It'll make you cry and say wth at the same time.
There are three actors in this movie I want to talk about: Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus, and Bobby Coleman.
Liam Hemsworth. I was surprised and I liked his acting. He's eye candy, sure, but he delivered. There are specific scenes that I liked that I want to write about, but don't want to put spoilers in this blog. So moving on...
Miley Cyrus. Her acting is generating a lot of buzz. Some hate it; some love it. I think she has room to grow. For me, there's a disconnect when Cyrus acts angry and brooding Ronnie to happy and loving Ronnie. There are some subtleties and nuances that Cyrus could have added to Ronnie to give her more...I don't even know what to call it. It's not depth. The character of Ronnie is already scripted for depth. It's that *thing* the makes a teenager a teenager and that *thing* that exists in young people unsure of their future. Anyway, other than those subtleties and nuances, I think Cyrus did well for her first drama.
Bobby Coleman. Can we please talk about Bobby Coleman? He is, to me, the best actor in this film. He plays Jonah, Ronnie's little brother. I loved Coleman in "Martian Child." A lot rode on his shoulders in that movie. In this movie, Coleman was fantastic. He carried out the emotions of Jonah well. He had to portray the joy, humor, anger, sadness, and pain of this little boy who's still growing up. He didn't go over the top, but he didn't downplay what and how children feel either. True though, that Coleman is a little boy himself and might not have had to stretch that far to play his character. But watch the movie and you'll see what I mean. Coleman is an actor to watch out for.
Last verdict: if you want a good cry with a happy-tainted-with-a-little-sad ending, watch "The Last Song".