The Longest Ride (2015) Movie Review: Scott Eastwood’s Penetrating Blue Eyes Can’t Save This Latest Nicholas Sparks Cheesefest

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Luke touches his belt buckle.

Take a Drink: every time someone says, “The box.”

Do a Shot: when Luke and Sophia have un-steamy sex in the shower.

Do a Shot: every time it rains.

Shotgun a Beer: when the two hearts/desire song plays.

Soon to be worn by hipsters everywhere.
Soon to be worn by hipsters everywhere.

Community Review

How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Movie Review

By: Amelia Solomon (Four Beers) –

Setting all obvious porn jokes aside, The Longest Ride is about Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood), a North Carolina bull rider, who falls for a Wake Forest University sorority girl, named Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson).  They embark on a love affair, even though they have absolutely nothing in common.  Based on the novel of the same name, written by Nicholas Sparks, the film follows the traditional Sparks formula full of forbidden love, washboard abs, and the always predictable happy ending, while cramming the theme of true love down our throats.

Said an insane person.
Said an insane person.

On their first date, Luke and Sophia come across a car wreck.  The strapping young man that he is, Luke rescues an old man who is passed out at the wheel, just before his car explodes.  The unconscious man wakes for a moment to say, “The box”, and Sophia grabs what looks like a picnic basket out of the car.  While the hurt man is being worked on in the ER, Sophia snoops in the box and discovers hundreds of letters written to the man’s wife, Ruth (Oona Chaplin).  Cue the second congruent storyline of true love set against the backdrop of World War II.  The old man, Ira Levinson (Alan Alda) befriends Sophia, and she visits him to read him his sacred letters.  It turns out that when Ira was young (Jack Huston) he was just a country bumpkin that fell for Ruth, an educated Austrian woman who loved art.  Their story echoes the one of Sophia, an art major, and Luke, a rough cowboy.  Will Ira and Ruth’s story affect Luke and Sophia and teach them not to give up on their feelings for one another?

And who looks better in a cowboy hat?
Who looks better in a cowboy hat?

A Toast

Alan Alda, who plays the older Ira Levinson, delivers a solid performance as a cranky old man who no longer has much to live for without his beloved wife, Ruth.  Alda gives clout to a weak romance film and helps lift the scenes in which he’s in to watchable.  His iconic voice also helps soothe the viewer and, with the exception of Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones, there’s no one else I’d rather hear tell me stories from the past.  Jack Huston, who plays the younger Ira Levinson, also gives depth to the character of Ira and shows why an educated Austrian would fall for such a small town country boy.

Alan Alda giving a serious sneer.
Alan Alda giving a serious sneer.

Scott Eastwood’s deep blue eyes command the screen, and he has the appeal and look of a famous movie star.  He’s so easy to watch, that it makes sitting through this over two hour film tolerable.

Who has the best stare?  Eastwood or the horse?
Who has the best stare? Eastwood or the horse?

Director George Tillman Jr. highlights the North Carolina landscape beautifully from awesome green mountains to wraparound front porches.  He also showcases the professional bull riding industry with all its dirt and danger in an exciting fashion.

When dirt looks good.
When dirt looks good.

Beer Two

A film like this depends on chemistry between its leads to sell the story.  But Eastwood and Robertson have no chemistry whatsoever.  Their scenes are downright awkward and made me cringe.  Robertson seems like a naive young child and Eastwood a grown man, who’s been around the block a time or two.  The fault here lies with the casting, and I believe the film would have worked much better with a different actress in the role of Sophia.

Oh, sorry.  Wrong movie.
Oh, sorry. Wrong movie.

Beer Three

There’s no denying that Scott Eastwood is gorgeous and that he strongly resembles his father, Clint Eastwood.  With a penetrating stare, tip of his cowboy hat, or smile he embodies the all American cowboy.  But I couldn’t get past his handsome looks to decipher if he can act or not.  With Eastwood solely relying on his features, there isn’t much else that went into the character of Luke.  He’s reticent and stubborn, and I wasn’t sure if that was how the character was written or because Eastwood doesn’t have the talent to give a layered performance.  It’s possible Eastwood could grow as an actor and come into his own, but I didn’t see raw talent here, just simple nepotism.

Only one can be Dirty Harry.
Only one can be Dirty Harry.

Beer Four

When your characters speak lines like, “No one has ever done anything like this for me before,” there’s no escaping cliches and predictability.  When I re-looked at my notes after viewing the film and saw that I wrote down, “I want to vomit in the first five minutes,” and “Gag me with a spoon,” among other sentences I can’t repeat, I realized that this was not a good representation of a romantic genre film.  With The Notebook always being the standard for Sparks to live up to, it makes it difficult for any Sparks film that has come after it to stand out as different and unique.  Maybe he should have quit a long time ago, but somehow these films still make money, and Hollywood loves regurgitation.

Longest Ride 7

Verdict

If you want to sit in an empty theater and contemplate why the only other two patrons are hysterically laughing at things that weren’t even supposed to be funny, and not in an ironic way, then see The Longest Ride.

a4Beers

About Amelia Solomon

Forever mystified by 80's flick, "Just One of the Guys", it was only a natural progression that I'd end up reviewing films for MovieBoozer. I reside in Los Angeles, where I spend my time critiquing films and TV shows and writing television scripts . Feel free to comment on my reviews. Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

2 comments

  1. Solomon always entertains!

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