HOLLYWOOD—For those movie lovers longing for romance, the wait is over, but it might be a bit cliché. “The Longest Ride” starring Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson, chronicles the tale of young love on the horizon and what happens when life intervenes.
Robertson portrays Sophia, an undergraduate on the verge of graduating from college and preparing to head for the big city has a chance meeting with rodeo rider Luke (Eastwood). Like any typical love story, the narrative follows both Luke and Sophia as they test the waters of a potential relationship.
An interesting tidbit, this is a movie adapted from the bevy of popular novels by Nicholas Sparks. It attempts to mimic some of that magic from “The Notebook.” Is it close to that tearjerker, no, but Sophia and Luke are shared a tale of love by Ira (Alan Alda) about his one true love Ruth (Oona Chaplin).
Behind the lens is director George Tillman, Jr. who is responsible for the 1997 drama “Soul Food” and “Barbershop” starring Ice Cube. His last foray was the 2013 indie “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete” which starred Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson.
So what is problematic with “The Longest Ride?” Well it feels like the same old romance we’ve seen time and time again on the big screen. Like some people say, if you’ve seen one Nicholas Sparks film you’ve seen them all. Same tale, different people. A couple not so certain on the strength of their relationship finds inspiration from their elders to try to keep the spark alive.
Chemistry is evident between Eastwood and Robertson, but some would consider it cutesy compared to sizzling romance. All the other characters that appear in the movie, are filler roles, and don’t provide much in terms of substance. The movie sets the stage for Eastwood to follow in the shoes of his father Clint Eastwood, only as the heartthrob. Robertson is expected to have a big 2015 as she will soon star alongside Academy Award winner George Clooney in the sci-fi adventure “Tomorrowland.”
“The Longest Ride” delivers romance, but not the type of love story that will have audiences talking years from now.