Miley Cyrus is tragically miscast and way out of her depths in this mawkish drivel. I don’t really understand the appeal of Billy Ray Cyrus’ achy-breaky star progeny. The girl’s all teeth. Her acting repertoire from her gigantically popular Disney TV series and movies has lead Cyrus to the motto that bigger is better. She plays every scene much louder and bigger than required, mistaking volume for drama. I don’t think (right now at least) that she has the acting capabilities to carry a drama, let alone a drama weighed down by so much overly serious, heavy-handed material. But then heavy-handed is a Nicholas Sparks trademark, same with someone dying of a terminal disease by film’s end (the streak continues). What’s remarkable about The Last Song‘s ineptitude is that Sparks wrote the screenplay and the novel at the same time, tailoring it specifically for Cyrus. The part was written with her in mind, which makes the failure even larger. Cyrus cannot do teenage angst to save her life. If you wanted a moody, angst-driven, hip-to-be-square, believable young actress, then they should have hired Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist). Cyrus is a troubled teen who mopes all summer, forced to spend time with her divorced father (Greg Kinnear, fighting to find some dignity in the film) before, well, you can guess where we’re headed. For melodrama, it all comes across as fairly dull and sterile (PG-13: wrestling in mud, PG: throwing mud). What’s even worse is that the titular “last song” Cyrus performs to honor a fallen loved one is powerfully bland. And yet I have the sneaking suspicion this stab at expanding Cyrus into adult roles could have been much worse. As it is, The Last Song is a sudsy dud.
Nate’s Grade: C