A young Eastwood meets Nicholas Sparks in ‘Longest Ride’

Scott Eastwood, the youngest son of Clint Eastwood, stars in this movie adaptation of the 2013 Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name, “The Longest Ride.” If you like predictable romances, then you’ll like this movie.

The movie is beautifully photographed with scenes of bull riding dramatically depicted while avoiding the queston of cruelty. Everything is nice and sugar-coated. You don’t see the seamy side of a rodeo and the couple with have a happy ending.

The movie follows two romances. One is between Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood), a professional bull rider who meets a college student named Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson). At the end of a date, they rescue an elderly man named Ira Levinson (Alan Alda), a widower who cherishes the only thing he has left of his wife Ruth, their love letters. Unable to have children, Ira and Ruth collect art, focusing on American modern art, especially from famous Black Mountain College.

While Luke continues on his tour and battles his own demons, Ira tells Sophia about his romance with Ruth, with Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin playing the younger Ira and Ruth respectively.

Eastwood is tall in the saddle and looks comfortable on the ranch and rodeo. The chemistry between Eastwood and Robertson is minimal, but they are too exceptionally good-looking young actors. Alda is reliable enough.

If you’re a Sparks fan, this might be for you, but it isn’t the most emotionally moving and richly nuanced film. All the production values are handsome as are the actors, but there are better romantic movies out there. Still, what person doesn’t want to believe that someone will be there for “The Longest Ride” which is life.

“The Longest Ride” has just been released on DVD.



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