#REVIEW: “THE LONGEST RIDE”
For anyone who has seen a Nicholas Sparks Adaptation since his 2004 Phenomenon The Notebook, Directors and Screenwriters have been trying to recreate the magic that The Notebook created, but few with the same success. However with the Duo of Craig Bolotin and George Tillman Jr., The Longest Ride falls into the same category as The Notebook. This however is partially similar because the Film switches back and forth between present day and the 1940s between two Love Stories that both tug on heartstrings throughout.
The Longest Ride starts-off by introducing us to our lovable Bookworm Sophia (Britt Robertson) as her Friends convince her to ditch the books for a night and attend the Bull Riding Competition in North Carolina. Once there, Sophia’s Friend Marcia (Melissa Benoist) points out local Bull Riding Hunk Luke (Scott Eastwood). During their initial encounter, Luke loses his cowboy hat and tells Sophia to keep it. Later that night they manage to run into one another at a party, in which Luke asks Sophia out on a date and their romance starts to blossom. On the way home from their romantic date, Luke is driving Sophia home and notices an accident on the side of the road, in which they save Ira (Alan Alda). Sophia visits Ira in the hospital often, where she reads letters that he used to write to his Wife Ruth, as we get to see the romance unfold between Young Ruth (Oona Chaplin) and Young Ira (Jack Houston). With the true love that Ruth and Ira shared for one another, as tensions grow between Luke and Sophia it begs the question is love worth making the ultimate sacrifice?
What makes a success is the believable chemistry we see on-screen. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson exemplify what it means to be young and recklessly-in-love, something most of us have inevitably encountered at one point in time. Moreover, the cross-generational compassion which Britt Robertson and Alan Alda share on-screen further captures the heart and essence of this Film – even in the unlikeliest of places, love will find a way. This isn’t only a Romance, as love is explored in many a form.
Oona Chaplin and Jack Houston also are paired beautifully in another running Storyline in another Era. The timelessness of their struggles apply just as well to the Film’s modern Storyline running in tandem.
The Longest Ride captures what it means to love and the sacrifices that have to be made to allow love to continue, along with the heartbreak and downfall if love does not prevail. The story is great because it captures the true essence of love. It exemplifies what it means to be selfless and making individual sacrifice for the other person so you can be happy together and this is powerful.
This Story will break and heal your heart in the duration of its two hour and ten minute run time, as it explores a Story that is as old as time itself. Finding that one Person who is worth the sacrifice and worth the fight is the longest ride of all.
20th Century Fox Canada release The Longest Ride Friday, April 10, 2015.