George Tillman Jr.
“The Longest Ride” follows a pair of young adults, Sophia (Robertson), a college student and Luke (Eastwood) a bull rider, who meet at an event and become a couple. After going on a date one night, the couple discover a crashed car and help an elderly man (Alda) get to a hospital.
At the hospital, Sophia learns that the man’s name is Ira and they begin to get to know each other. Through the relationship, Sophia begins to read Ira’s letters and she discovers a love story through them. While learning about Ira’s love story it helps her own relationship with Luke.
This movie is another Nicholas Sparks based romance and doesn’t break from what’s become a fairly common theme. The couple meet there’s something driving them a part and they have to overcome it. The only difference this time is the letters plot device used to tell the second story of Ira’s relationship with his wife.
The two story threads both help and hurt the film. On the one hand, there is a segment in Ira’s story regarding adoption that is actually pretty interesting. On the other, it makes the movie feel way too long, clocking in at two hours and 40 minutes.
More or less, this movie could have been split up into two movies and would have probably worked much better. It didn’t help that the story of Sophia and Luke’s relationship had a been-there-done-that feel to it. On top of that, the film has a “twist” at the end that is completely laughable.
The characters in “Ride” seemed quite generic and it seemed due mainly to the acting. Robertson and Eastwood play their roles OK, yet at times there definitely seems to be a lack of passion. For example, Sophia is an artist and loves art, yet that aspect was never convincing.
Other members of the cast were a bit better. For example, Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin who played the young Ira and his wife Ruth during the flashbacks were pretty good and Alda is fine in his part, too.
The movie can only be recommended to Sparks’ fans or those who like similar material as there isn’t much else to offer. The movie goes on way too long, the acting is average, the characters seem fairly generic and the ending is just silly.
Maybe if the film would have just focused on the story told in the flashbacks, it could have been fine. 2 out of 5.