Reviewed by: Elisa A. Walker
|Featuring||Miley Cyrus (Ronnie Miller), Greg Kinnear (Steve Miller), Bobby Coleman (Jonah Miller), Liam Hemsworth (Will Blakelee), Hallock Beals (Scott), Kelly Preston (Kim), Nick Lashaway (Marcus), Carly Chaikin (Blaze), Kate Vernon (Susan Blakelee), Nick Searcy (Tom Blakelee), Adam Barnett (Teddy), Michael Jamorski (Lance), Melissa Ordway (Ashley), Carrie Malabre (Cassie), Lance E. Nichols (Pastor Harris), Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Megan Blakelee), Phil Parham (Megan’s Husband), Bonnie Johnson (Neighbor), Rhoda Griffis (Doctor), Anthony Paderewski (Security Guard), April Moore (Fireman at Church), Todd Smith (Fireman at Church)|
|Director||Julie Anne Robinson|
|Producer||Offspring, Touchstone Pictures, Tish Cyrus, Jennifer Gibgot, Adam Shankman, Dara Weintraub|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures|
“Do you ever really forget your first heartbreak?”
From the author that brought you “A Walk to Remember,” “The Notebook,” “Message in A Bottle,” “Nights in Rodanthe” and “Dear John” comes a story of love, family and reconnection. Ronnie Miller (Miley Cyrus) is sent to live with her father (Greg Kinnear) in a southern beach town to reconnect and find herself. Ronnie soon meets Will (Liam Hemsworth) who softens her and helps her find her love for music again. “The Last Song” is the epitome of a Nicholas Sparks’ story; you’ll find laughter, tears and love.
“The Last Song” is refreshingly clean and family-oriented. The language is mild; there were 2 uses of d*mn, 1 use of hell, 1 use of b*tch, 1 OMG, and 1 use of cr*p. There is only one instance of violence; Will punches a guy for trying to hurt Ronnie. There is no sex; Will and Ronnie kiss, but it never gets too steamy, and it is kept sweet.
Ronnie has a bad attitude towards everyone, at first, but soon softens into a kind and caring young woman. Some mild drinking and partying is hinted at, but both Will and Ronnie say no to it and walk away. There are several beach scenes (bikinis and shirtless boys), but they are kept normal, as if you were to walk down to the local beach.
Ronnie’s parents are divorced, but they both admit that they hurt their children and are sorry for what had transgressed. Ronnie had stolen before she came to live with her father, but admits it was wrong and takes ownership for it. ***SPOILER*** Finally, there is a sad part in the storyline, so parents just take caution if your kids can’t handle a thematic/sad event. ***END SPOILER***
None of the content specified above is ever promoted and is kept very clean and family-oriented.
“The Last Song” places an important emphasis on family, and how important it is to be good to those that you love. Ronnie takes care of her little brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) and is good to him. She ends up being a great daughter to her father and really goes the extra mile to fulfill her Exodus 20:12 duty.
A guy makes unsolicited advances towards Ronnie, but she immediately asserts herself and tells him to never touch her again and walks away. This is good, because it shows young girls and women to stand up for themselves and not let men take advantage of them. Ronnie and Will have a really innocent and sweet romance together, they keep it pure and make it a point to put each other first. Ronnie’s father helps rebuild a local church.
I, also, thought it refreshing when the parents owned up to hurting their children because of the divorce. Forgiveness can also be seen throughout the entire movie, Ronnie’s mother (Kelly Preston) tells her that nobody’s perfect and people “screw up” and have to forgive and move on. Ronnie and Will apologize and forgive each other when they both mess up, and most importantly, Ronnie’s father gets blamed for something he didn’t do and when he finds who the culprit is, he forgives them and even though they are willing to come forward, he wants to move on and keep it to himself. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
I really enjoyed this movie, I laughed, I cried, I fell in love—what can I say; it is a typical Nicholas Sparks’ story. I took my parents to see this, and we were not disappointed and liked being able to see a movie in theaters as a family. The story is great, the acting, especially Bobby Coleman who plays Jonah, is good and believable.
At first, I admit it was hard to get used to Miley playing a rebellious teen, but when her character softens, it is then really believable, because she is (or so it seems) just being herself—nice and kind. This movie will definitely draw in a younger audience, especially young girls—and for good reason; there is a clean and sweet romance involved (not to mention a cute male lead). So all in all, I recommend this movie for kids, teens, adults, and families (with the above possible reservations).
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.