FILM REVIEW The Longest Ride

Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson in The Longest Ride, in cinemas now.
Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson in The Longest Ride, in cinemas now.

THROWING a couple of opposing stereotypes together and watching the drama slowly unfold is as thrilling as watching paint dry in the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride.

Art student Sophia (Britt Robertson) and rodeo star Luke (Scott Eastwood) go on a date, even though their personalities are worlds apart and she is heading off to New York for an internship at a fancy art gallery in two months.

He is the typical southern gentleman who brings her flowers and builds a fire on their picnic though, so they hook up a few times and eventually fall in love.

Meanwhile, the ripped hero saves elderly man Ira Levinson (Alan Alda) from a burning car and with him, a box of old letters he wrote to his dearly departed wife Ruth (Oona Chaplin) and we are treated to another bumpy romance ride.

Sophia spends her time reading the letters to the recovering Ira and she learns a few things about love, sacrifice, family, marriage and drama.

Weepie fans get bang for their buck with two relationships going through the usual ups and downs (the downs usually take place out in the rain, when a storm coincidentally appears) the requisite heart string tugging deaths and relationship woes.

Briefly livening things up are a handful of vivid rodeo scenes (complete with bull saliva strewn across the screen in slow motion, if you like that kind of thing) and dimly lit sex scenes that show slightly more flesh than other Sparks adaptations have.

The actors are pretty to look at and are mercifully tolerable to watch (except Chaplin´┐Żs nails on a chalkboard accent), but this feels like the length of Gone with the Wind, only with none of the epic romance.

The Longest Ride (M)

Directed by: George Tillman Jr.

Starring: Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda

Two stars