The Longest Ride
Movie Blurb by Shale
April 11, 2015
I saw the trailers to this romantic drama and it looked interesting to me because ... well, I am a romantic. That is something apparently lacking in most movie critics because only 29% of the aggregate reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes liked this movie. Their consensus: "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."
Ah yes, the targeted audience, those 72% teary-eyed romantics of which I belong who liked this movie. BTW, even the critics who liked this movie had complaints with it such as these two:
"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."
Wesley Morris - Grantland
"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."
Bilge Ebiri - New York Magazine/Vulture
You can hardly tell their accolades from this guy's trashing review:
"The only thing more grating than a Nicholas Sparks romance is two Nicholas Sparks romances bumping into each other."
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
You will notice most of the critics are trashing Nicholas Sparks stories as much as the movies made from them. And the ref to the two romances is one of the reasons I liked the story. As usual, this is a formulaic romantic drama (two disparate ppl meet, fall instantly in love, find some irreconcilable problem but solve it before the two hours are up.) It starts with dedicated college bookworm, Sophia (Britt Robertson) being torn from her studies by sorority sisters to go to a bull riding competition. There, she gets a close up look at one of the thrown riders who crashes the railing by her. He is Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood) a once champion, trying to regain his title after a bad injury. She retrieves his hat and he tells her to keep it.
Luke in Bull Chute
That was their meet cute but they meet again and really hit it off, considering that he is a North Carolina rancher whose only passion is bull riding and she is an art major about to take a prestigious job in NYC. On the way back from their first date, they discover a car that ran off the road and Luke being a real decent good-ol-boy, rescues the old man, Ira (Alan Alda) from the wreck. As Luke is carrying him away, Ira asks Sophia to get the basket from his car.
As she waits for him to get thru the emergency surgery, Sophia discovers the basket contains old fotos and letters from the WWII era, which she starts reading. She later offers to read them for Ira while he is in hospital.
Ira & Sophia Read Letters
Thru these letters we see in flashback the unfolding of a love story from a past generation as young Ira (Jack Huston) meets and falls for Ruth (Oona Chaplin).
Ruth & Ira at Home
While following the joys and travails of Ruth & Ira we are also coming back to the joys and travails of Luke and Sophia. Luke's injury was very bad and repeated injury, which is not a matter of "if" but "when," could kill him.
Sophie & Luke
So, here is the dilemma. Luke refuses to quit a livelihood that may kill him and Sophia is going to NY in a month anyhow. That's as far along this ride that I'm taking you.
As said, I like romantic dramas and I really thot this one was quite good. Which is why the low critic rating was kind of a let down to see. But, I'm with a majority who likes it so there.
BTW, I have to further processing to see if I really liked the movie or if I was just smitten by the exceptionally handsome Scott Eastwood.
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