Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Longest Ride (2015)


“I don't know what the future holds but I know there is no future without you.”

            Didn’t I just go on a rant, as usual, about how much I hate chick flicks? (re: Sleepless in Seattle and from last year The Vow). And what kind of movie am I reviewing yet again? A goddamn chick flick! But I must admit that this time I was not really tortured. Yes, the plot of The Longest Ride is typical the guy and girl get together in the end despite all the obstacles thrown in their way. But there were a few things that made me somewhat enjoy it. First, Scott Eastwood… have you taken a look at that man?! Second and third, Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston play a couple. And last but not least, it has a little something to do with art history and I am a sucker when it comes to art history in movies. Let me regale you with the chick flick monotony for a bit before I go on a fan girl tangent about Eastwood, Chaplin, and Huston.
            Luke Collins (Eastwood) is a bull rider. Years before he was seriously hurt and almost brain damaged after being kicked by a bull in the ring. Now he is back riding despite not being one hundred percent. At his latest show he gives his hat to a girl in the crowd named Sophia (Britt Robertson). Later she tries to give him his hat back but he lets her keep it and gives her his number. For a few days Luke tries calling her but she never picks up the damn phone. Her thinking is she will be leaving at the end of the summer for an internship at a gallery in New York City so she does not want to hook up with a guy only to have to leave in a short time. Well that does not work. She finally picks up her phone and she and Luke go out on a date.
            On their way home from their date it is raining. They see the guardrail around a bend has been hit and find at the bottom of a hill. Luke and Sophia get out of the car in the pouring rain and pull the man out of the car. The man deliriously says “the box” and Sophia realizes that he has a box in the car so she grabs it. They drive the man to the hospital. Sophia stays to see if the man is alright while Luke takes off. The man is Ira Levison and he pulls through. While Sophia is in the waiting room she looks into Ira’s box and sees letters. She reads one of the letters which is from Ira to his wife Ruth from the 1940s explaining how he felt when he first saw her when she moved to his small town.
            When Ira comes to and Sophia is brought into the room. She brings Ira his box and tells him she read one of his letters. He tells her he has not read the letters both from his failing eyesight and because Ruth is no longer with him. Sophia offers to read the letters to him and for a few days comes back and reads the letters to him.
            As Sophia reads the letters she realizes and the audience sees that her life with Luke reflects some of the struggles and life of young Ira and Ruth. Each couple has had to make sacrifices for love in order to be together.
            Definitely typical chick flick story but I have to say that I enjoyed because of the cast. The cast made the difference all of them were excellent and made the characters a lot better. Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston were perfection together. They are both such fantastic actors you can tell they enjoy what they do and have incredible talent. You can feel all of Ira and Ruth’s joy and pain. Scott Eastwood I had never seen in a movie before. Hot. Damn. I could go on and on about how gorgeous he is but that would not be very professional so I will stop there. He is a pretty good actor. I would not mind watching more of his movies both for his acting and looks. Britt Robertson is a good actress she has the potential to be a staple in Hollywood if she keeps working at it and getting the right parts. I never mind seeing her in a movie or even a show (anyone remember the show she was in called Life Unexpected? I really liked that show and that is where I originally know her from). I am not really a fan of Alan Alda there is something about him and the characters he usually plays that are annoying. I actually really liked Alda in this role he was very good.
            A few months ago my mom read the book The Longest Ride. She told me I would like it because some of it takes place in the 1940s and it had a little bit too do with Art History which I love and have a degree in. I have not read the book yet so I do not know how much of Art History is in the book. The movie had a decent amount and what was in it was very interesting. Sophia wanted to work in a gallery selling paintings. She explains that she had always had a love for art both learning about it and creating it. Luke asked her if she had ever been to this place in North Carolina called The Black Mountain College. Sophia gets all excited because she is doing her college thesis on it. The college is a liberal arts college where a lot of famous contemporary artists studied and a lot of famous people visited to lecture. In the flashback Ira had taken Ruth there because she was passionate about art and when she first arrived in North Carolina from Vienna before World War II she told Ira that she loved the art and culture of her country and missed it. I never heard about the Black Mountain College before this movie I am looking forward to researching it and maybe even visit it some time.
            The Longest Ride is not bad. I was not bored at all watching it which is something new to me with chick flicks. The story was not too terrible even with having typical chick flick clichés. I liked how despite the time period of differences Ira and Ruth and Sophia and Luke the story of love and sacrifice is the same. Sometimes parallels of time periods in movies does not always work and they can get cheesy but in The Longest Ride it was done very well. I can only suggest watching The Longest Ride if you do like chick flicks or if you like the actors. Honestly Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston’s scenes are worth sitting through alone they were so perfect together… and Scott Eastwood also helps. 
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