Starring: Scott Eastwood, Brittany Robertson, Alan Alda, Oona Chaplin, Jack Huston
Director: George Tillman Jr
Genre: Romance, drama
Running time: 128 minutes
Now showing at Century Cinemax, Acacia Mall, Kisementi and Cinema Magic, Metroplex Mall, Naalya
The Longest Ride is the latest adaption of a Nicholas Sparks book. No idea who Sparks is? Think Notebook, Dear John, Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember and you will have an idea. His books and movie adaptations usually have a similar plot –the kind hopeless romantics cannot resist and cynics can barely stand. Back to that later.
In The Longest Ride, we get to follow two couples. The first, and central couple, is Luke and Sophia. Luke is a bull rider while Sophia is an art student at the university. They meet and fall in love –the usual drill. However, their relationship hits a snag because of their careers. Luke, whose bull riding days were interrupted by an injury wants to get back in the game while Sophia has got a wonderful job opportunity in the big city. As their relationship is put to the test, a mutual friend, Ira, an elderly man they rescued from an accident tells them about his relationship with Ruth and how they faced an almost similar test. It goes without saying that his narration is meant to inspire the young couple.
As I mentioned earlier, Sparks’ novels and movies usually evoke certain feelings. It is therefore not surprising that the general consensus on critics aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes is, “The Longest Ride is less manipulative than the average Nicholas Sparks film, but it’s still saccharine and hopelessly contrived –not that it’ll matter to the target audience”.
I don’t know about the first part of that statement but I agree that whatever critics say, the target audience is going to look for this movie and aww… at every opportunity. Despite the less than stellar reaction from critics, audiences on the other hand love it, an audience aggregator site, CinemaScore, which grades movies depending on how audiences receive them gave The Longest Ride an A on a scale of A+ to F.
Personally, I’m too much of a sucker for Nicholas Sparks’ work, to be objective, so go watch the movie and you will either aww … or roll your eyes.