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The Last Song
Matters of the Heart
"The Last Song" is definitely the text book definition of a true chick flick. Normally, I don't care for films like this, as the plots are very derivative, predictable, and way over dramatized to the point where you just want to shoot yourself in the head. Seriously, most chick flicks are just that freaking depressing to me but to be fair, "The Last Song" does offer a few good qualities to look at. What surprised me the most about "The Last Song" was the performance of Miley Cyrus.
As she not only managed to convincingly pull of a character, who is depressed and somewhat of a social outcast with a heart of gold, but she does it despite the fact she acts so bitter around her good intentioned father throughout most of the film. This is apparently obvious in the beginning, when we see Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) snub her father's affections when greeting her for the first time in months. Then goes off walking along the sunny summer beach while wearing a sweater with her hands tucked into her pockets; acting as though she's scared and timid by her surroundings. Something that I can't say is even expected out of Cyrus, since she normally plays the flashy southern girl, in "Hanna Montana", and her recent exploits in tabloid magazines, internet videos, and newspapers don't really paint a picture of a shy and normal girl to be quite honest. Yet it seems Miley pulls it off quite easily, as it makes me wonder if maybe she's not another teen idol that's destined to burn out after all once her youth is gone. In fact, I think she might have a bright future as an actress/singer, as long as she doesn't allow any bad influences around her.
I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of hers to quite honest, but this film comes awfully close to converting me to one. As I'm sure, many Miley Cyrus fans will love her performance in this movie. Heck, even I did, and I didn't even like the girl before watching "The Last Song."
Another redeeming factor of this was Greg Kinnear (Steve Miller), who plays the father of this movie. Although it sadly seems he's one of most under rated actors of his generation, but that doesn't stop him from shining through in this movie. As he plays a father who left his family due to the stress of his struggling marriage, that causes him to leave. Normally, most people would assume that a man who walks out on his family is a bit of a jerk, but Greg manages to somehow make his character likable and conflicted. Almost to where you couldn't blame him for some of the mistakes he's made in the past. Plus, the chemistry between him and Miley is just amazing to watch. Thus, allowing for the audience to buy into their story even more.
Sadly, this is where the praises end though. As much as I loved Miley Cyrus and Greg Kinnear's performances in this movie, I found the rest of the story often too predictable...and dry. Often coming off as a cliche ridden soap opera, with too many subplots that do little to help the main story arc. Such subplots like the best friend, Blaze (Carly Chaikin), who dates a jerk who abuses and cheats on her constantly, but it allows various moments to show viewers just how truly compassionate Ronnie is. I guess the part where she spends all night, at the beach outside her house, trying to protect sea turtle eggs from raccoons wasn't enough to show audiences the level of her kindness, huh?
Plus, if that wasn't enough, I found Miley's co-star love interest and real life boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth (Will Blakelee), to be rather bland and uncharismatic in his performance. Seriously, half the time I couldn't even tell when the guy was being serious or not, as you can just flat out tell the guy was acting out lines from a script. With hardly any emotion showing at all in his performance. But hey, I guess it wouldn't be first time a pretty boy actor, with lame acting skills, got more attention he deserved......*cough*....Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner...*cough.*
Overall, "The Last Song" does play out like a bad teen soap opera, as the story is cliched and predictable as sin. Fortunately, I thought Miley and Greg's performances and chemistry carried this film, to make up for most of the story's shortcomings. "The Last Song" may not be the best chick flick out there, but it's a decent film for it's genre. Miley Cyrus fans will be happy with this film for sure, but I doubt seriously it'll do well for most guys, who will undoubtedly be dragged in by their girlfriends to see this. However, if your into chick flick movies, then "The Last Song" is definitely worth checking out.