x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Miley Cyrus's The Last Song: a real sugarfest

A film that aspires to be a tear-jerker but tries too hard and manages only to be sickeningly maudlin.

The Last Song 

Director: Julie Anne Robinson 

Starring: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Liam Hemsworth 

The Last Song is brought to you by Nicholas Sparks, the man who wrote The Notebook and Dear John. He has a mixed track record, therefore, of drawing out your tears. The Notebook was a total weepfest; Dear John met with less success. Here, you may well cry and then feel utterly disgusted with yourself afterwards, because the story is so sugary it could make your teeth fall out. Miley Cyrus stars as Ronnie, a stroppy teenage girl who hides her prodigious musical talent by putting up a furiously hormonal front. It's the summer holidays and she's being packed off to stay with her father, Steve (Greg Kinnear), for the duration. Trouble is, Ronnie loathes him because he walked out on her and her small brother, Jonah (Bobby Coleman), when they were little. And boy, is she mad. Her moodiness could rival that of Twilight's Bella Swan. But then along comes a boy, Will (Liam Hemsworth), and suddenly (very suddenly, given how angry she's supposed to be) all is well. She falls in love, randomly saves a bunch of sea turtles from a raccoon (I know, I know, what on earth?), starts playing the piano again and forgives her father. But then disaster strikes and her father gets cancer. So just when Ronnie thought she had her dad back, he selfishly risks it all over again. The most endearing character of all is the small brother, who can seemingly crumple his face on demand and so serves as chief tear-wringer. But really, the whole script sounds as if it was written by love-struck teenagers who learnt to read from Hallmark cards. Don't forget to brush your teeth.

* Sophia Money-Coutts