You’ve Seen One, You’ve Seen Them All: "The Last Song" By Nicholas Sparks

1312 words - 5 pages

Written by Nicholas Sparks and directed by Julie Ann Robinson, The Last Song presents a story about a rebellious teenager who is sent, along with her little brother, to a Southern beach town for the summer with their dad. The estranged teenager reconnects with her father through their passion for music before he dies. Many critics have a split opinion of the performance and message the movie conveyed. Some would agree that the performance was incredible and some who differ. The different critical responses suggested by The Last Song are clearly illustrated by three reviews: “Miley Meets Cute over a spilled milkshake,” by Robert Ebert; “A Miley to Remember,” by Armond White in New York Press; and “The Last Song Movie Review,” by Rebecca Murray. While Ebert and White applaud the film, Murray criticized the movie with comments focusing on the acting (all three critics), the plot (White & Murray), and the movie being unbelievable and silly (Ebert & Murray).
First, in Robert Ebert’s movie review, he admires the acting, but describes the film as being unbelievable and silly. When The Last Song comes to mind, one draws their attention to the main character, Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus plays a rebellious teenager named Ronnie, who has pure hatred for her father, played by Greg Kinnear. Although this is her first movie not acting as Hanna Montana, “she does a good job of making her character Ronnie engaging and lovable” (1). She acts as an alienated teen by being distant from her father and the world, showing no emotional features toward situations that face her, including the “Meet Cute” between her and Will.

In Armond White’s review, he praises the acting done by Miley Cyrus and talks about Sparks’ strategy of forming the plot. Because of her personality and spunkiness, one could not overlook the “instantaneous, irresistible affect that Miley Cyrus brings to The Last Song” (1). As White agrees with Ebert, Miley does an exceptional job in drawing the audience’s attention to the main character, Ronnie. Her well-shaped “pop-star presence draws one into the story of rebellious Veronica” (1). Her acting ability helps make a smooth transition from rebellious Veronica to engaging Veronica.
Although Murray heavily criticized the plot, White highlights Sparks’ formation of the plot. White believes the “emotional blossoming is what makes the Sparks movies notable,” as exemplified in The Last Song (1). From his personal observation, Sparks’ strategy is to “show his characters’ advancement toward fullness and wise, rueful personal connection” (1). For example, after discovering her father’s conditions, she regrets disappointing him by giving up music and a scholarship to Julliard. Sparks wants the audience to realize that you should never take anyone or anything for granted. When she decides to play the piano again and accept her scholarship to Julliard, the movie “doesn’t promote careerism but dramatizes her emotional breakthrough” (1). It shows an attitude...

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