The Longest Ride, film review: Scott Eastwood stars in treacly and manipulative adaptation

(12A) George Tillman Jr, 128 mins. Starring: Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda, Oona Chaplin, Jack Huston
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The Independent Culture

The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel is every bit as treacly and manipulative as its predecessors. Scott Eastwood (Clint's equally rugged son) plays "easy on the eye" professional bull rider Luke Collins. Britt Robertson is Sophia, the art-loving student at university in North Carolina, about to start an internship at a New York gallery but whose life is thrown off-kilter after she meets Luke at a rodeo.

They save an old man called Ira Levinson (Alan Alda) after a car crash. Sophia salvages his letters and thereby learns about the love of his life. Ira (played as a young man by Jack Huston) met Viennese refugee Ruth (Oona Chaplin) just before the Second World War. He courted and eventually married her but unspecified wartime injuries prevented them having a family.

Much of the dialogue here is so soppy you half suspect it must have been taken from Hallmark greetings cards. No matter what each couple's ups and downs, we always suspect that true love will triumph. There are some non-sequiturs. Ira writes (and seems to have posted) long letters to Ruth even though they are married and living together. Ruth is a school teacher on a seemingly modest salary and yet still has an art collection that would make Aristotle Onassis blush. At least, the film is very handsomely shot by cinematographer David Tattersall and the rodeo scenes themselves are extremely well shot and staged.

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