Review: “The Longest Ride” falls short of romance

Katelyn Siegert, Verge Designer

The film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’The Longest Ride” is more clichéd than most of Sparks’ previous successful works like “The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Safe Haven.

“The Longest Ride” is based on a tale as old as time; a boy and a girl fall in love only to be separated by their conflicting worlds and desires.

In the film, Sophia Danko, played by Britt Robertson, is a college senior in North Carolina preparing for her upcoming graduation and an internship in New York City.

She is so career-focused that she almost doesn’t join her sorority sisters at a rodeo where she meets professional bull rider Luke Collins, played by heartthrob Scott Eastwood.

Soon, the two are embarking on a quaint country date together.

They stumble on a car wreck in a rainstorm where they save an elderly man and his collection of love letters.

While reading the letters to the elderly man Ira Levinson, played by Alan Alda, Collins and Danko experience turbulence in their budding relationship as Danko is drawn to life in the big city and Collins battles his own beast as he overcomes a serious injury and attempts to make his way back to the top of the bull riding circuit.

As Sophia unfolds Ira and Ruth’s World War II love story, the two couples parallel one another in their trials, triumphs and sacrifices.

These blasts from the past create an additional world in which viewers must travel, but falls short of telling the story in the depth and detail that it could.

Ira and Ruth’s story could be expanded upon to make a classic romance movie by itself, but as it is, the two tales stifle one another.

The audience doesn’t get a chance to really see the characters develop throughout the story because they are forced to focus on, what is basically, two separate storylines.

The setting of the movie is swoon-worthy though. Set in rural North Carolina, several shots that pan the landscape of the early morning, foggy mountain ranges drive home Collins’ untamed attitude.

Like any decent movie focused on country life, the film has plenty of beer, trucks and short skirts, all the comforts of a Florida Georgia Line song really. It even has a choreographed line dance.

There were several cringe-worthy lines throughout the movie that could easily give audience members a solid dose of secondhand embarrassment.

Some of the intense, emotional scenes fell flat as well, scenes that were meant to be uber romantic were awkward and Eastwood’s valiant attempt to shed tears was almost comedic.

Despite his inability to cry, Eastwood put on a solid performance as a bull-rider.

He brings enough intensity to make the bull riding scenes put viewers on the edge of their seats.

The shots throughout these scenes are incredible.

Picture a tight view of the buzzer-beating shot from half court that breaks the tie and wins the championship.

That is the type of intensity and anticipation that these scenes portray.

All-in-all the film is worth seeing, even if it’s just for Scott Eastwood’s ability to wear a pair of jeans.

Katelyn Siegert is a senior journalism major.
She can be reached at 581-2812 
or [email protected]