The Longest Ride Film Review

Film Review by Saskia Donnell
The Longest Ride

The Premise

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Nicholas Sparks, THE LONGEST RIDE centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City's art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected and fateful connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, THE LONGEST RIDE explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.

The Review
Not being a huge Nicholas Sparks fan myself, I took along a friend who certainly is and was more than happy to oblige. I had already prepared myself for a corny love story ending in tragedy, but I thought having a Sparks enthusiast along might help me get into it.

The story had a lot more depth and real emotion to it than I expected! It beautifully weaved together two separate narratives: the new relationship between Sophia (Britt Robertson) and Luke (Scott Eastwood), and the reflection of Ira (Alan Alda) on the  life-long relationship between himself as a young man (Jack Huston) and his wife Ruth (Oona Chaplin).

Aside from Oona Chaplin’s ambiguous, always changing accent and some slightly forced chemistry between Robertson and Eastwood, the characters were enchanting. Especially Alan Alda’s portrayal of Ira, an elderly man who misses his life-long companion and shares his story with Sophia. His story of sacrifice and love is very moving and not overly romanticized as I’ve come to expect from Sparks, and Chaplin’s accent aside – Huston and Chaplin had amazing chemistry.

Scott Eastwood was the perfect choice for Luke Collins, the gentlemanly bull rider. Pretty much being a better-looking version of his dad (Clint Eastwood), I wouldn’t be surprised if he really did live on a ranch and ride bulls for fun. He pulled off the old-fashioned southern cowboy character easily and although his relationship with Robertson’s character may have moved a little too fast to believe he was a true gentleman…it was easy to forgive.

The Verdict
A reasonably feel-good and touching story that most ages will enjoy. If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan, you will love ‘The Longest Ride’. If you’re a fan of the book, you may even like the movie more (ridiculous I know)!

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 9th April 2015
Rating: M – Contains sex scenes
Duration: 128 minutes
Genre:  Romance Drama
Starring: Britt Robertson, Melissa Benoist & Scott Eastwood
Director: George Tillman Jnr. (Faster, Men of Honour)

The Extras
The Longest Ride is Nicholas Sparks 10th book being made into a movie

It is from the same producers as the fault in our Stars

Filmed in North Carolina

This film has the longest runtime of any Nicholas Sparks adaptation at 2 hours and 22 minutes.