Last Song, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Hallock Beals, Nick Lashaway, Carly Chaikin, Nick Searcy, Kate Vernon, with Kelly Preston and Greg Kinnear. Teen romantic drama. Written by Nicholas Sparks & Jeff Van Wie. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ (A Walk to Remember, The Notebook) latest novel, The Last Song is set in a small Georgia beach town where an estranged father (Greg Kinnear) gets a chance to spend the summer with his angry teenage daughter (Miley Cyrus). He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common—music—in a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along with first loves and second chances.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Like an ideal Miley Cyrus lyric, The Last Song is comprised of wit, romance and hope for the adolescent. Shying away from the usual crudity and explicitness found in angst-ridden coming-of-age movies, Mr. Sparks’ story and script suggest that the characters seek the meaning of life by way of the heart rather than the libido.

Aided by a strong supporting performance by Greg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets, Flash of Genius), and an optimal one by her co-star Liam Hemsworth (the new Channing Tatum), as well as a charming Georgia coast locale, Ms. Cyrus, bordering on adulthood, gives a subdued yet engrossing performance, proving she can do more than the broad Hannah Montana.

Those cynical to the stirrings of young love may find several situations predictable or saccharinely sweet, but this film is not intended for them. It is aimed at those just discovering that intangible something that opens the door between adolescence and adulthood. While it lacks the passion of Splendor in the Grass, it avoids the overwrought generational alienation found in Rebel Without a Cause. A sensitive tearjerker with humor and youth-orientated romance, The Last Song is the perfect teen-date movie.

Note: The Last Song is the 15th book published by best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks. Other books include A Walk To Remember, The Notebook, Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but I caught no harsh language
Profanity: “Oh my God,” once, but no verbiage meant to be irreverent
Violence: A brief scuffle between the male lead and a drug-dealing pimp
Sexual Intercourse: Some kissing
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Ms. Cyrus wears a nose stud throughout; a figurine of the Buddha is seen on the father’s desk – this seemed out of place as the man has been raised in a Christian church all his life – who knows why it was placed on the set or why Ms. Cyrus, said to be a follower of Christ, wouldn’t have objected; we discover that a central character is ill and dying, this may upset very little ones).
Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: 10 and up

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