Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Longest Ride surprises with depth

Movie:   The Longest Ride

Pg-13, 2 hours 8 minutes

Grade:   B+

In a Nutshell:   What I thought would just be a sappy, predictable Chick Flick turned out to be a romance with great depth and heart.  We recently saw the beautiful Britt (Brittany) Robertson in Tomorrowland , looking like a spunky teen with gorgeous hair.  A minute later, she’s all grown up and falling in love.  Her boo is the handsome Scott Eastwood whose life revolves around the “toughest sport on dirt”, bull-riding.  He’s the old-fashioned gentleman and hero that every girl wants.

The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks.   Also featured in two love stories for the price of one are: Alan Alda, Oona Chaplin, and Jack Huston.  I love it when stories intersect and it works well in this movie.

Uplifting Theme:
·         Ruth asks “What right do I have to be happy when there is so much suffering in the world?”  Young Ira wisely states “What right do you have to not be happy?”  Despite life’s trials and challenges, we need to find our own happiness.
·         “Even an accident will have purpose and direction.” – Black Mountain College art teacher
·         Luke explains to Sophia that “All bull riders get hurt.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.”  I think that’s true for humans in general.  We’ll all get hurt emotionally in our lives.  The idea is to get through it gracefully and with love.
·         “Love requires sacrifice.  Always.” – Ira
·         “We focused on all the things we had, rather than the things we didn’t.” - Ira

Things I liked:
·         I live in Las Vegas where “Cowboy Christmas” takes over the town every December.  It was fun to see the bull-riding trials before that big championship.
·         I love the cute  look of a skirt with cowboy boots.  Another good  look is a shy cowboy holding a bouquet of flowers.
·         The film is full of great country music from the Pistol Annies, Black Pistol Fire, The Wild Feathers, Ryan Adams and more.  The Longest Ride (Original Soundtrack Album) will surely be popular.
·         Beautiful North Carolina scenery near where my mother grew up.
·         The first kiss can really say a lot.  Ira explains “Our first kiss – it was the promise of everything to come.”   Couples often spend their lives trying to recapture that original magic.  An older Ira sadly noted “It’s a scary thing how the people closest to you can become strangers.”
·         SPOILER ALERT: I love inspiring World War II movies.  I was surprised to see a cowboy chick flick include a war twist.
·         Sophia explains that her favorite comfort food is a Polish dumpling called “Koldenny”. Want to see what it looks like?
·         I thought Ruth was so sweet to her students.  A good elementary school teacher can truly change the direction of a child’s life.
·         The film touches on childless couples and the painful process of adoption.
·         SPOILERT ALERT: The target audience will love the sweet, fairy tale ending.

Things I didn’t like:
·         Over two hours long, some guys in the audience may find new meaning to the title The Longest Ride
·         The ingredients are pretty predictable.  Somebody’s gotta get wet and have to get undressed at some point, right?
·         Both couples include a spunky girl and a quiet, country boy.  Maybe more variety would have added increased depth to the characters.

Funny lines:
·         “I want a cowboy!” – One of Sophia’s sorority sisters
·         “She has the coldest hands I’ve ever felt.  I think she soaks them in ice water before she comes by.” – Ira Levinson  (the wonderful Alan Alda)
·         “How are you feeling?”  - Sophia to Ira
“The better question is how do I look?” – Ira
“Very handsome.” – Sophia
“That’s all I care about.” - Ira

Sappy lines that girls fall for every time:
·         “Our chance at being together was greater than being apart.” – Ira
·         “Today started out like any other day, but when you walked through the door of my father’s store, looking so beautiful and vibrant, I knew my life would never be the same.” – Young Ira (Jack Huston)
·         “I just don’t know how to make this work.” – Luke
“I don’t either, but I know that I want to.” – Sophia
·         “I love you so much, even if that means it doesn’t include me.” – Ira
·         “it’s only 8 seconds.  That girl could be the rest of your life.” – Kate (Lolita Davidovich)
·         “Ruth had an eye for talent.  I only had eyes for Ruth.” - Ira

Tips for Parents:
·         There are moments when you see some naked parts during pre-marital sex, including Scott Eastwood’s bum.  Both couples end up in bed.
·         Mild profanity.

Good for Britt Robertson for having two movies out this summer!

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