"The Last Song"

I have read the book The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks and liked it. Sparks co-authored the screenplay for this movie, therefore I was hoping that the movie's script would be excellent; unfortunately, parts of it were very clichéd.

Ronnie (Miley Cyrus, TV's "Hannah Montana") and her brother Jonah are being sent from their home in New York City to live with their father (Greg Kinnear, "Green Zone") in Georgia for the summer. Her mother (Kelly Preston, "Old Dogs") warns her dad that Ronnie has been difficult to deal with lately, and we see this ourselves as she stomps along the beach in her combat boots, drawing curious stares from the bikini-clad girls. Ronnie soon meets Will (newcomer Liam Hemsworth) and her summer starts to look up, although she at first refuses to warm up to him—she's not looking for a "summer romance," she says. In addition, Ronnie has been accepted to Julliard, as she has been playing the piano all her life, but she is not planning on going because she hasn't played since her parents divorced and her dad moved back to Georgia. There are other complications in the movie as well, and it is an interesting mix of story lines.

The acting in this movie was decent. I was not expecting much from "Hannah Montana" (Cyrus) but other than a really awkward crying scene, she delivered a good performance. Hemsworth was adorable as Will, and so was Bobby Coleman ("Post Grad") as Ronnie's little brother Jonah. Greg Kinnear is great as well, and Kelly Preston has a small but well-played part as Ronnie's mother.

The problem with this movie was that parts of it were too cliché. Some of Sparks' books are like that, but he usually is able to explain and detail things more, and since this is a movie (and you must show rather than tell), Sparks doesn't have that luxury. I went to see this movie with a friend, and we were both cringing at some of the sappy scenes. However, there were a lot of funny one-liners as well. The ending is sort of bittersweet, but overall the movie sticks pretty closely to the book's scenes and storylines; as far as I could tell, only a few scenes were cut, and they deal with only minor characters. I would say Maybe see this movie, depending whether you're a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and/or Miley Cyrus.

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