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GROUCHY GROWNUP REVIEW OF THE LONGEST RIDE

year: 2015 rating: **
Not a dry eye in the house, or on screen… The female audience sniffling as the characters are, like THE NOTEBOOK and all things Nicholas Sparks, getting drenched in perpetual rain…

Not that THE LONGEST RIDE doesn't also include "plenty of sunshine" – after all, one cannot ride a bull on muddy soil. And here our leading young man doesn’t speak much: Enter Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, as Luke Collins, a bull rider who yearns to be number one. He meets a vulnerable and initially reluctant, soon-to-be city girl, Sophia, an art student played by Britt Robertson. Thus a friendship ensues that’s not much different than the inevitable lustful romance that follows: both are extremely attractive so what’s to lose? Yet the real plot evolves after the young couple saves an old man from a car accident (in the rain, no less): savoring a box of letters revealing a backstory more important than their dull, one-dimensional mainline: A recovering, narrating Alan Alda, in younger form, is smitten with a strong-willed Jewish girl who appreciates art; something he and the audience will take for granite till the twist finale, proving (once again) how money cures everything in cinema...

Well love is involved too, and despite the barrage of soap operatic clichés there’s a genuine (if rushed) heartfelt longing in the 1940’s b-story that leaves enough residual for the modern couple's romance to stretch (just a tad) beyond Tearjerker 101.
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