Long­est Ride is a long haul

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

THROW­ING a cou­ple of op­pos­ing stereo­types to­gether and watch­ing the drama slowly un­fold is as thrilling as watch­ing paint dry in the lat­est Ni­cholas Sparks adap­ta­tion, TheLongestRide.

Art stu­dent Sophia (Britt Robert­son) and rodeo star Luke (Scott East­wood) go on a date, even though their per­son­al­i­ties are worlds apart and she is head­ing off to New York for an in­tern­ship at a fancy art gallery in two months.

He is the typ­i­cal south­ern gen­tle­man who brings her flow­ers and builds a camp­fire while they are on a pic­nic. They hook up a few times and even­tu­ally fall in love.

Mean­while, the ripped hero saves el­derly man Ira Levin­son (Alan Alda) from a burning car and with him a box of old let­ters he wrote to his dearly de­parted wife Ruth (Oona Chap­lin) and we are treated to an­other bumpy ro­mance ride.

Sophia spends her time read­ing the let­ters to the re­cov­er­ing Ira and she learns a few things about love, sac­ri­fice, fam­ily, mar­riage and drama.

Weepie fans get bang for their buck with two re­la­tion­ships go­ing through the usual ups and downs (the downs usu­ally take place out in the rain, when a storm coin­ci­den­tally ap­pears) and the req­ui­site heart­string-tug­ging deaths.

Briefly liven­ing things up are a hand­ful of vivid rodeo scenes (com­plete with bull saliva strewn across the screen in slow mo­tion, if you like that kind of thing) and dimly lit sex scenes that show slightly more flesh than other Sparks adap­ta­tions have.

The ac­tors are pretty to look at and are mer­ci­fully tol­er­a­ble to watch (ex­cept Chap­lin’s nails-ona-chalk­board ac­cent).

But over­all this feels much like it is the length of GonewiththeWind, only with none of the epic ro­mance

Scott East­wood in

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