Take a better look at The Longest Ride
Hearing that another Nicholas Sparks movie is in the theater probably puts the fear into a lot of men's hearts over the prospects of watching romance schmaltz at its finest. As for me, I'll bite if there's a good gimmick to drive the story along that's not a repeat of "Love Story" with one of the romantic leads just simply suffering from another disease. For his latest adapted film work, The Longest Ride, it appears at the surface to be yet another repeat of familiar tropes associated with Sparks' work, but what lies beneath what the poster features makes it stand out among the rest.
This time, we have a country western swing, as our male romantic lead (Scott Eastwood) is a rodeo bullrider and our female love interest (Britt Robertson) is a college student who's torn between whether or not she can bare a cowboy in her city bound life. Sure, the couple look cute together and are believable as a couple, but that is just one part of the story, as intertwined is the more interesting story of how a Jewish couple (Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin) fall in love in the 1940s and marry after World War II. A war injury keeps them from having a family of their own, but strive to build one, at first attempting to take care of a child from a broken home and their contemplation on whether or not their marriage can last with what they want. Spoiling the rest of their story would rob the audience of a well-executed emotional scene that left many bringing out the Kleenexes to those who knew what they were getting into.
So there you have it, a mostly positive praise for something getting critically beaten as The Longest Ride. The whole Nicholas Sparks trend of romance movies seems to be getting tiring for some critics and perhaps the audience that aren't diehard fans of his books, but if there's a few more stories of his that take a different approach than the Love Story route, then they're well worth the viewing time. Doesn't hurt to have a little romantic schmaltz for a change between all of the passionless and generic films that are placed throughout this time of the film going season.