Janet W., Here…
Real love is seldom portrayed in film. Two people meet, they fall in love and would do anything for each other. Love is not flowers day in and day out. Love is as much about sacrifice as it is about fulfillment. Love worth having must be earned, pursued, and above all respected. Not since The Fault in Our Stars had I witnessed such a true example of love. Not without flaw, but the closest of late, is The Longest Ride. This film does “real love” justice.
Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, The Longest Ride follows the meeting and path to love walked by Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood, yes Clint Eastwood’s son) and Sophia Danko (Britt Robertson). Luke is literally thrust into the view of Sophia at her first bull-riding event. Luke a die-hard bull rider and Sophia an art history student on the verge of graduation from Wake Forest University, these two couldn’t be more different. Yet with a look, their journey begins. As it starts, Luke and Sophia come across Ira Levinson (A. The best advice in any area of life is spoken by one how has walked that path. Luke and Sophia have much to learn from Ira and beloved Ruth.
Luke has a head start, as he is a true gentleman. DISCLAIMER: I am a writer in Texas, not a Texan therefore, no bias here. Cowboys are quite charming in their purest form. I’m sure Sofia was supposed to be the main focus of the film, but Luke’s development was far more fascinating, that and the fact that Scott Eastwood is dreamy and possess a spirit of earnest chivalry in The Longest Ride. This is my first encounter with Eastwood’s acting ability. He shows promise and I will have to look into his other works. Admittedly, I could not help but see the mannerisms and demeanor of Clint in Scott. As dialogue would go, Scott would make this facial expression that was so Clint. Robertson did well, too. She was smart as well as loyal as Sophia. A nice surprise was Alan Alda. I’ve seen Alda play a shrewd jerk, a loving father, and a misogynistic ad exec. In The Longest Ride, Alda will send you on an emotional roller coaster. You will be so happy for him, so proud of him, and your heart will weep for him. Another blessing, though in short supply, was the Lolita Davidovich as Luke’s mother, Kate Collins. The thing I always like about Lolita is the roles that she chooses allow her to show her strength. The other characters might think that she will never get under their skin, but she does and not with games, but with in your face honesty. Keep it coming.
Overall, The Longest Ride is a good film. With most films I view, The Longest Ride was a bit predictable. I enjoyed the switches from the Luke’s point of view while riding bulls to the main camera. There were a few good laughs and exciting scenes that made my heart race. The score suited the film in timing and feeling. I must confess, I HATE CRYING. That being said there are moments when the emotion is so transparent that I am content to shed a tear or two in honor of its truth. The Longest Ride is inspirational in its example of the promise of love. In the wise words of Sherrilyn Kenyon, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it was, and always will be yours. If it never returns, it was never yours to begin with.” The Longest Ride begs the viewer to ponder: Could you love someone enough to let him or her go and risk losing or chancing winning him or her forever? Any film that presents such a challenge definitely gets my vote.
4 out of 5 Stars
– Janet L. White