The Last Song, a treacly affair that is virtually unwatchable outside its target demographic (which is about 5 years younger than the film thinks it is), is the next great bit of glorious banality for both Nicholas Sparks and Miley Cyrus. Sparks, who really likes himself, aims at a somewhat younger crowd this time around, apparently in the hopes of proving that the laughably nonsensical appeals to a more diverse age range than was previously believed.
Teen whippersnapper Ronnie (Cyrus) is forced to spend the summer with her father, who she marks as the villain in her parents’ divorce. This is rather hard to get behind, as her composer father (Greg Kinnear) is so affable he’s practically mushy. It’s also tricky to play along with in the same sense that everything else in the film is, because I didn’t believe anything Cyrus was trying to portray for a second.
I would be forced to think twice if she delivered the line, “I’m a teenage girl,” and most of the film’s attempts at giving her something worth delivering (such as protecting turtle eggs) are built around lines, attitudes, and situations that, as usual, only serve to make you wonder if Nicholas Sparks has ever actually met any people.
The story surrounds our bitter teen, and the summer-long struggle to overcome… well, whatever she’s bitter about really, and reconnect with her father, while allowing herself to open up to love interest Will (Liam Hemsworth). The reconnection comes by way of the shared love of music, even though Ronnie has turned down her entry to music school… because men are bad, or whatnot.
The film comes at you with all the care and effort of those that know that once we get to put our two names on the poster, the real work is done.
Of course if you’re a big fan of either of those names, it doesn’t really matter what anyone might say, which is the point.
The Blu-Ray offers up a decent number of special features, but fans might be hoping for a bit more. There is an audio commentary with director Julie Anne Robinson and co-producer Jennifer Gibgot, and I am willing to hazard a guess that those who enjoy the film will find it incredibly interesting. Largely a detailing of the Sparks fanboy effort the film was in their eyes, I can hardly think of a film that needed a commentary track less. There are also several deleted scenes, and an alternate opening sequence, all with optional director commentary.
Special features on the Blu-Ray and Standard DVD include-
• Set Tour with Bobby Coleman – Audiences will have an all access pass to see how a film is made through the eyes of the new up-and comer and star of The Last Song, Bobby Coleman. This rambunctious eight-year old will bring his fans along as he does everything from interview Adam Shankman and Miley’s security team, to going on a seashell scavenger hunt.
• Making of the Music Video, “When I Look At You” with Miley Cyrus – Go behind-the-scenes of the music video, “When I Look At You”. It will feature recording studio footage, b-roll from the set, interviews with Miley and crew, clips from the film and music video. Audiences will learn how the film’s motif, southern summer romance, is incorporated into feel and theme of the music video.
• Miley Cyrus Music Video: “When I Look At You”
If you have a youngish teen daughter, I’m sure you’ve succumbed to the pressure and bought this already. If not, I can’t really find anything to recommend about it.
If you’re game, leave a comment below and you will be entered to win your very own copy of the Blu-Ray release. U.S. only. Winner will be selected September 15th.