"What do you call that color nail polish?" "That would be clear."
Now, I’m no snob. I believe that romance novels and movies based off those novels can be artistically valid. I believe as long as a story is well told it does not matter what kind of story it is. However, Nicholas Sparks’ reputation as a creator of popcorn chick flicks is not unwarranted or undeserved. “The Longest Ride” especially seems to think it’s saying some profound things about love and romance, but these platitudes often come across as old-fashioned and corny. “Love requires sacrifice”, it explains, but not all sacrifices are created equal and the film refuses to explore the possibilities that both selfishness and sacrifice could bring about in a relationship. The film, as is its right as a romantic fantasy, touts a “love conquers all” message as the solution to all romantic problems, and I don’t completely buy that because our romantic leads, while possessing a decent amount of mutual chemistry, don’t build enough of a genuine connection over the course of the film for me to believe in their happily ever after. The secondary romance, told through flashbacks, is much more believable and at times more emotionally touching, but the connection to the main storyline is weak and the kind of person who is jonesing for a cowboy romance might be a little thrown by the inclusion of a Jewish-American love affair set during WWII (sadly, this is less exciting than it sounds).
Above all, this film’s greatest sin is its lack of distinguishing characteristics. The acting is fine, the story is fine, there’s nothing altogether offensive about it, but fans of the genre have seen this before. The storytelling gimmicks were not enough to hook me, and the lack of any truth at this film’s core is frustrating. You can find much better fantasies than this in a bookstore bargain bin.
Cheap beer. PBR is a good bet.
-Drink every time someone takes their shirt off.
-Drink when someone says their loved one's name.
-Drink for flashbacks
-Drink the entire time someone is riding a bull.
-Drink for attempted paralells between the two stories.
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "The Longest Ride" is produced by Temple Hill Entertainment and distributed by 20th Century Fox. This film is rated "PG-13" with a run time of 139 minutes.