PLOT: A rebellious teen (Cyrus) and her little brother (Coleman) spend the summer on the beach with their dad (Kinnear).
WHO'S IT FOR? I don't think adults are really going to crave a Miley Cyrus drama, and the kids who want to see it are going to be disappointed by the tone and pace.
EXPECTATIONS: They were low. I haven't seen anything to make me like Cyrus. I will say this though, I didn't think Dear John was that bad. I'm not saying it was good, but it wasn't awful.
Miley Cyrus as Ronnie Miller: Ronnie scowls. I think the reason she does this is because her parents got divorced. I think. She also stole. So it appears that's why she's rebellious. She's also the one qualified student left in America who is refusing to go to college. Do you want something petty? I noticed this and I'm just going to say it. Every feature on her face looks like it is trying to attack her nose. What makes this worse is her main move as an actor seems to be to scrunch her face (in curiosity, disgust, you pick it). I know she's popular. That doesn't mean she can be a dramatic actress. At least not yet. Score: 2
Greg Kinnear as Steve Miller: I like Kinnear. And I'm repeating myself here, but I'm going to continue doing so until this happens -- Kinnear needs to play Johnny Carson in a bio-pic. I'm actually still upset with him for his most recent "The Late Show with David Letterman" appearance. He did impressions, yet he didn't do his Carson. Yet Letterman adores Carson and impressions of Carson. Oh, his performance in this film? Nothing really wrong with it here. His character takes a quick 90 degree turn, but then again this is a Nicolas Sparks movie, so it's expected. Score: 4
Liam Hemsworth as Will Blakelee: Shirtoff. That's the new name for actors whose best quality is standing around without a shirt on. Ladies, there are plenty of chances to enjoy that with Hemsworth, the newest member of the Shirtoff club. Club president Matthew McCounaghey is printing up his welcome pack as we speak. This isn't really Hemsworth's fault, but Will has no good reason to like Ronnie. None. Score: 3
Bobby Coleman as Jonah Miller: Coleman has a track record for getting on my nerves. Sure he was supposed to be over-the-top in Martian Child, but he was equally annoying in Post Grad. There's nothing natural about his style, and he constantly seems to be hamming it up for the camera. I wish he could just relax, but Hollywood thinks they've found a funny kid on their hands. When things turn depressing in this film, that's where you'll see his best work. If you laughed when he shouted out, "I need your name solider," this is for you ... sigh. Score: 3
TALKING: Dear lord, there's still overbearing mothers who frown upon vegetarian girls? Really? And Ronnie, I don't care what kind of rebel you pretend to be, you were clearly nervous about meeting Will's parents. So when his mom asks you what your plans are ... you tell her you've been accepted into Juilliard. End of discussion. Score: 2
SIGHTS: Nicolas Sparks = ocean. This much has been decided. The beach house and town look fine, there's nothing wrong or extraordinary about the place. The film really relies on montages, which means it is light on story-telling. I'm all for the montage, when used sparingly, but this was overkill. Instead of trying to figure out why Will is even willing to talk to Ronnie, let alone date her, we simply get a dating montage and then they're together. Score: 4
SOUNDS: It's just a bunch of random pop songs. Cyrus sings in the car for a couple of minutes, but that's it. I assume that closing song in the credits is Cyrus singing as well, but you know what? I'm not going to check. That's how little I care. Score: 3
BEST SCENE: Baby turtles are cute. It's a rule that simply isn't up for debate. So, watching those baby turtles is as good as it gets. Though, it doesn't last long, after all Sparks needs to start making us cry, right?
ENDING: After trying to make us cry for the last half hour, The Last Song then tries to make everything seem bright and shiny. It didn't work.
QUESTIONS: Ronnie, it seems to me you're just faking being rebellious. Not only that, you're not very good at it. So, why don't you just stick to playing the piano, OK?
REWATCHABILITY: Not going to happen. I look forward to letting out a groan when I'm on a flight and realize this film is the only choice.
It seems we're stuck in the middle with Miley. Sure, now you can't get that one song out of your head right now, and you're wondering what it is you should do. It's so hard to keep that smile from your face. OK, if you had no idea I accidentally fell into a Stealers Wheel song there, you're the ones I need to talk to right now. Yes, this is for the kids ... Cyrus can't act. At least not well. I'm not saying she won't get there, but she's not there right now. You're experiencing fandom, and probably foaming at the mouth right now getting ready to defend this girl. Please understand you're being irrational. So what I mean by that original "stuck in the middle" statement is this -- sane adults are stuck waiting for Cyrus to improve. What's worse is, her core audience is going to be bored by this character, this story, and this film. I realize this won't be Cyrus's last song ... I just hope they improve.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10