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April 2, 2010
Review - " The Last Song "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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plot details and a polished look perfect for the tween set. As Ronnie and Will play out their star-crossed romance, Ronnie
and her dad, Steve (Greg Kinnear), have some patching-up to do as he strives to connect with her through their shared love
of music, and she reluctantly seeks out his parental advice. Little Jonah, meanwhile, holds his own with scenes that are
absolutely realistic for a younger brother left with the short end of the family drama stick.

Along with trying family dynamics, the Millers also encounter events outside their control, which add texture to the The Last
Song’s particularly addictive form of saccharine. There’s an ugly secret ripe for telling, painful class division, some mean
girls, one especially mean boy and a nest of adorable turtle eggs that become far more than a plot device. With a
relentlessly touchy-feely soundtrack that features indie faves like José Gonzáles, Iron & Wine and, of course, Miley Cyrus,
each dramatic beat gets its own musical sucker-punch that takes no prisoners.

Don’t even bother trying to hold the tears in - each blow (Ronnie’s baby brother is neglected!) is followed by yet another
(Blake has problems too!) and still another (Someone leaves forever!). For Cyrus, The Last Song is a chance to prove she
can do more than broad, Disney-style kid stuff (she has a few old habits to break). For audiences, the film is one big, messy
cry that leaves no choice but to snivel loudly, and long for summer.

Bobby Coleman deserves a kid Oscar for the tears he turns on as Ronnie's little brother. As things fall apart, his desperate
cries are heart-wrenching despite how manipulative they feel. The script loves to toy with us emotionally, especially towards
the end. You may get misty — that is, if you're not too busy rolling your eyes. But the takeaway here for me is Cyrus's acting
skills. While she probably won't earn critical acclaim, I found her performance to be surprisingly solid given the material. It's
the schlocky lines here that are ultimately to blame. She manages to portray a range of emotions from Anger, Angst,
Sadness, Happy and makes them
mostly convincing. Unfortunately she
often changes feelings at the flick of a
switch going from hurt to happy in the
time it take me to snap my fingers.  
While her relationship with Dad
(Kinnear) and Little bro (Coleman)
seem genuine she has no real
chemistry with co-star (and real life
boyfriend) Liam Hemsworth .  While
Cyrus may draw an audience, she
can't quite save this film from its own
sappiness. I am a fan of Nicholas
Sparks and while The Last Song is no
Notebook it is passable and mostly
superior to his other release this year.
Last Song is worth seeing if you're in
the mood for a good cry.
The Last Song
Directed by: Julie Ann Robinson
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Bobby Coleman, Liam Hemsworth

Break out the tissues and skip the mascara, because there’s no
escape from the tear-jerking clutches of The Last Song.

In her first big-screen departure from Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus
plays Ronnie Miller, a musically-gifted teen with a pretty face and a
tough attitude. When she and her little bro Jonah (Bobby Coleman)
are shipped from New York to the Southern coast to spend the
summer with their dad, family issues, filial bonding and romance
ensue - but not without a shameless amount of melodrama and
no-holds-barred emotional manipulation that could bring the most
cynical of movie-goers to their knees.

Ronnie arrives at her estranged father’s house full of rage and sports
combat boots to prove it. In opening scenes that feature her stomping
and sulking her way across the beach, both her choice of footwear
and her tough-girl demeanor are regionally inappropriate and ready
for readjustment, stat. Luckily, she meets hunky volleyball player Will
Blakelee (Liam Hemsworth) within minutes of arrival. Instantly smitten,
he begins to break her down until she’s helpless in the face of his
adorable dimples, perfect teeth, Ivy-League grooming and blue-blood
pedigree. Soon, they’re in the throes of gilded summer romance, and
there’s no turning back - except, that is, when Ronnie’s childish ‘tude
takes over from time to time, turning on a dime and threatening to ruin
everything. While The Last Song employs all the usual devices that
typify films from author and co-writer Nicholas Sparks, it rises above
the romantic drama riff-raff with multiple relationship arcs, touching