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The Longest Ride is less manipulative than the average Nicholas Sparks film, but it's still saccharine and hopelessly contrived -- not that it'll matter to the target audience.
All Critics (118)
| Top Critics (35)
| Fresh (36)
| Rotten (82)
The Longest Ride is a weak sauce addition to the Sparks empire, a little better than last year's The Best of Me, but miles below uber-Sparks work The Notebook.
One of those rare films whose porn version will have the same title.
The Longest Ride is pretty darn tolerable - and sometimes even enjoyable - not just for fans but also for regular people who are, you know, cynical.
The Longest Ride has as much bull as the 10 previous Sparks adaptations. This is one of the few you can ride for longer than eight seconds.
As a romance, a drama, or even a sports movie, The Longest Ride never reaches a satisfying destination.
Look, it's easy to laugh at this stuff - that's part of the game, in fact. To buy into these movies, you have to buy into the silliness. But The Longest Ride, for all its ridiculousness, comes by its emotions honestly.
I get why many don't like it but I enjoyed it.
And like their predecessors, they and their co-stars Oona (granddaughter of Charlie) Chaplin and Jack (nephew of Anjelica) Huston succeed in making The Longest Ride enjoyable enough.
This is your standard romantic drama, with a checklist of the genre's cliches peppering the film's way too long 139-minute running time.
A Good Ol' Fashioned Roll In The Hay
The Longest Ride did not convert me to being a fan of romance films, but it did show me that I can enjoy parts of one.
Even by Sparks's standards, this is clichéd old stuff, not helped by the fact that the young actors in the contemporary story -- Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood (yes, Clint's son) -- are no match for Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin.
Based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, The Longest Ride is a touching romantic drama. The story follows an aspiring art major and a professional bull rider who fall in love, and have a chance encounter with an art collector that alters their lives forever. Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood lead the cast and give especially good performance, having great chemistry together. But the script is a bit of a problem, as the plot is over-stuffed; deliver two love stories for the price of one. And at times it can be a little emotionally manipulative. Yet while it has some issues, The Longest Ride is a compelling film about the power of love to overcome adversity.
In the long line of Nicholas Sparks novels, we usually get one every year and it comes and goes. For some reason, this one has been getting more word of mouth than most so I thought I would give it a try. I can say with all honesty, this is one of his better efforts by far. The pairing of Brit Robertson and Scott Eastwood was perfect and I bought their chemistry the whole way through. That is what made this film as good as it is. The one thing that kept taking me out of the film slightly was the fact that he keeps using plot points from his previous films, such as going to war or old people on the verge of passing away. Oddly enough, the filmmakers made all of these elements work it it really does tug at your heartstrings. "The Longest Ride" is much better than I was expecting it to be, and that is saying something. This is a well-made film all around with great performances. No it's not the most original film in the world, but it is a nice, watchable romance that I would be glad to pop in again.
Well, isn't Scott Eastwood just a rugged, squinty, sensitive, handsome drink of water? He isn't that bad an actor either - very dynamic and athletic while bull-riding and quietly choked when essentially admitting his lack of other options, "It's my life..." It's a schmaltzy moment, but he grounds it.
Britt Robertson was precious in "Dan In Real Life" and arguably the best part of "Delivery Man," but her spirit is too wild and outgoing for "the boring one" in the sorority house, and this Regular Girl role requires her to tone down that spirit, making her performance...well, boring. Methinks brunette Melissa Benoist more fits the type of the straight-laced lead, and Robertson would have been better as the bubbly partygirl friend.
The rest of the script is classic Sparks: new, uncertain relationship is fortified by the flashback story of an older relationship that stands the test of time. Ira and Ruth's love story - complicated by infertility and lack of faith - is infinitely more interesting than Sophia and Luke's banal first date small talk about nail polish. Oona Chaplin has a great period face, and Jack Huston is bashfully devoted.
The art auction twist is a nice denouement, but overall, the movie is an overlong, forgettable Sparks joint.
Bucking audiences around atop two very different love stories, Nicholas Sparks' sometimes charming latest Ride certainly feels like his Longest despite its laudably earnest and heartfelt approach. It's easy to hate adaptations of this author's works, often aw shucks connect-the-dots romances with impossibly attractive hard bodies and an obligatory death scene thrown in for good measure. The writer definitely addresses emotion on-the-nose, however, and many romantics do as well. This manner somehow seems brave in an age when our very cynical and sarcastic society - on-the-whole - laughs away anything wholesome and/or traditional.
In this PG-13-rated drama based on the 17th novel by Nicholas Sparks, the lives of a young couple (Eastwood, Robertson) intertwine with a much older man (Alan Alda) as he reflects back on a lost love after recuperating from an automobile crash.
Oh, there's still plenty here to joke about in The Longest Ride, mind you--dialogue so cheesy it could pass muster with the Dairy Council, plot points pretty much visible from the opening credits. The disparate storylines, however, fall short of paperback pulp. Granted, theyre often jolting as they quantum leap moviegoers from 40s Jewish war-torn lovers to Millennial opposites attracting but both share an occasionally infectious optimism. Scott Eastwood (when he smiles, it's pretty impossible to deny his father's Clint) and Britt Robertson throw off almost visible sparks (no pun intended) and seem destined for starrier heights. Alan Alda, meanwhile, shows them how great character work is REALLY done.
Bottom line: Sweet Tart of the Rodeo
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