Life Imitates Art in a Song

Nicholas Sparks returns with another novel-turned-film that audiences will not fall in love with. The New York Times bestselling author recently released the book The Last Song which proved to be a page turner while reading but fell apart when depicted on the big screen.

The author stuck to the original writing formula that popularized his love stories: girl has a problem, girl meets boy, boy is not girl’s usual type, girl and boy fall in love but there’s an obstacle and the two can’t be together. He throws in a tragic event and then you get a surprise, cliché ending. However, fans still hang by Sparks’ every word.

Director Julie Anne Robinson does not do the Sparks novel justice. The movie adaptation of The Last Song is a drama based on the life of Ronnie Miller, a 17-year-old rebellious New Yorker wannabe who has lost connections with her passion of music and her father. When she is sent away to South Carolina to live with him for a summer, she is put on a journey of self-discovery, heartache, love and sad goodbyes.

The film’s main characters are Ronnie Miller (played by Miley Cyrus), Steve Miller (played by Greg Kinnear), Jonah Miller (played by Bobby Coleman) and Will Blakelee (played by Liam Hemsworth).

While watching the movie, Sparks’ presence is felt throughout the storyline. However it’s masked by the characters’ failed acting, especially by that of Cyrus. The young actress showed promise during several emotional scenes but did not carry the viewer from each scene into the next smoothly. Instead, she was overshadowed by her father’s character in scenes where their chemistry boosted her talent. Alongside Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus does not convey a strong feeling of love as she does off-screen in her real life relationship with the up-and-coming actor. The best actor in the film was 13-year-old Bobby Coleman. He plays Cyrus’ younger brother with ease, creating comedy and real emotion when he is on screen.

Even though the movie made $16.1 million and came in fourth at the box office in its opening weekend, it was mainly due to Cyrus’ fanbase. It seems like directors all over Hollywood want in on the Nicholas Sparks craze and have turned almost every piece of literature he writes into a film. This adaptation could have been better with a less cliché script and better actors.

People have fallen in love with Sparks’ books since the start of his career, hanging onto every character and twisted tragic plot he can come up with, but The Last Song is not worthy of its predecessors, The Notebook and A Walk To Remember, and would be better played as a DVD.