Coming-of-age drama based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Miley Cyrus stars as Ronnie, a troubled and rebellious New York teenager who is sent to spend the summer with her estranged father, former concert pianist Steve Miller (Greg Kinnear), in the quiet coastal town where he has lived since divorcing Ronnie's mother. As the summer wears on, Ronnie reconnects with her father through their mutual love of music, and also falls in love for the first time with the handsome Will Blakelee (Liam Hemsworth).
This romantic tearjerker from writer Nicholas Sparks (Dear John
, The Notebook
) can be formulaic at times, but it stays interesting thanks to pacing and snappy dialogue. Miley Cyrus sulks through The Last Song
as troubled teen Ronnie, who resents her father (Greg Kinnear) for divorcing Mom (Kelly Preston) and leaving the family. A piano prodigy, Ronnie refuses to play after her father leaves, and she snubs admission to Julliard. Ronnie and her wisecracking brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are sent to spend the summer with their father in a small Georgia beach town. Handsome townie Will (Liam Hemsworth) strikes up a tense relationship with Ronnie and, true to romance formula, they fall in love. Ronnie softens her attitude and the ice between father and daughter begins to melt away. But Dad has a tragic secret, and in the end, music helps Ronnie open her heart and heal. Cyrus gives a predictable performance as the all-attitude Ronnie, but she's helped along by Coleman's cute-little-brother shtick (which can be a bit heavy-handed, but the youngster is a scene-stealer). Veteran actors Preston and Kinnear are one-dimensional, but The Last Song
is a harmless teen romance--who's watching the adults, anyway? --Francine Ruley