Well I'll be hornswoggled if it isn't Clint Eastwood's son Scott starring in Nicholas Sparks' ("The Horse Whisperer"), one of those ranchy romances of the two-hankie weeper type that Sparks does so well.
Directed by George Tillman Jr. ("Faster") using Craig Bolotin's script based on the Sparks' novel, this PG-13 chick flick makes nice exposure for an attractive young couple who learn that the secret of "The Longest Ride" (marriage) is not only love, but also sacrifice and compromise.
- * Scott Eastwood ("Fury") Luke is a bull rider (an 8 second ride is the goal) looking for a comeback from a severe head injury a year earlier. He has an old-fashioned way about him that is soooo appealing.
- * Britt Robertson ("Delivery Man") Sophia is on her way to Manhattan to pursue a career in art when a sorority sister drags her to a bull-riding competition. She has never dated a man who has nice manners.
- * Alan Alda ("The Blacklist") is Ira, an elderly man whom Luke and Sophia rescue when he suffers a heart attack on a lonely country road. His treasured box contains the story which plays on two tracks, one in his memories and the other in the present.
- * Jack Huston ("Boardwalk Empire") plays the younger Ira who falls instantly in love when he sees that lovely Jewish refugee from Europe. It's 1940 and her family left just in time.
- * Oona Chaplin ("The Crimson Field") is young Ruth, that refugee who can't see any reason to delay. She wants what she wants and intends to get started right away! Ruth is charming but determined.
Time spent on the battlefield (WWII) is vital to the story, so we coped with the gunfire and the blood. This film has no car chases, profanity or fisticuffs, but it does have full backtal nudity (of Mr. E.) and implied sexual situations, tastefully done. Whew!
Once again I am reminded what a perfectly splendid actor we have in Alan Alda. There isn't a moment when we weren't completely convinced by his character. Young Mr. Eastwood looks disconcertingly like his father. It almost detracts from his own appeal. (The women left this screening with big smiles on their faces, the men saw it more as an endurance test.) We liked it.