The Longest Ride review – unbearably syrupy romance

Based on a Nicholas Sparks bestseller, this comfy tale of a young woman discovering how lovable old people are wallows in a wholesome, rosy-hued past

One of those rare films whose porn version will have the same title. This unbearable syrupy romance is based on yet another bestseller by the romdram supremo Nicholas Sparks, who specialises in notebooks, manuscripts, caches of love letters and messages in bottles – all telling comfy tales of old-fashioned monogamous passion for the edification of today’s youngsters, set in the rosy-hued past and in the wholesome American south or midwest. Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) plays Luke Collins, a cowboy who makes a living riding bulls at rodeos; he meets cute with brainy sorority gal Sophia (Britt Robertson), who’s taking a fancy degree in art history. Out on a date, they run into a lovable-grumpy old fellow played by Alan Alda, and Britt’s discovery of this guy’s yellowing love letters to his wife plunges her into the lovely world of their uxorious passion; he appears to have written her very detailed letters about that day’s events, on the day itself. As Alicia Silverstone says in Clueless: “Old people can be so cute!” The Sparks formula of amorous devotion is as unvarying as the recipe for Werther’s Originals.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Leisure Seeker review – Mirren and Sutherland in syrupy heart-sinker
Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland play lovable oldsters on a road trip, with soppy, insufferable results

Peter Bradshaw

19, Apr, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
Love, Simon review – heartwarming gay romance
In this fun, engaging and intelligent drama, a gay teenager’s anonymous email conversation leads to complications – and love

Peter Bradshaw

05, Apr, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
Heritage of Love review – wretched, retchworthy Russian romance
An insufferable love story set in St Petersburg pre-1917 and Paris today, this regressive, saccharine film may have made serious rubles, but it has no merit

Leslie Felperin

01, Dec, 2016 @9:15 PM

Article image
Kids in Love review – sweet and sincere YA romance
Chris Foggin’s first feature casts a fondly satirical eye on a young and privileged west London crowd

Mike McCahill

25, Aug, 2016 @8:30 PM

Article image
Summertime review – Gallic charm of a sexy summer romance
This 70s-set story of a farmer’s daughter who falls for a feminist campaigner has some nice moments – and a few tryhard ones

Peter Bradshaw

14, Jul, 2016 @9:30 PM

Article image
The Space Between Us review – cosmically mawkish teen romance
This tale of interplanetary young love falls apart upon take-off with a storyline that offers no surprises and fetishises its protagonist’s debilitating illness

Peter Bradshaw

09, Feb, 2017 @10:00 PM

Article image
Pompeii review – toga-ripping romance goes with a bang

There's romance, rebellion and tonnes of magma ready to blow in this derivative but fun swords'n'sandals epic, writes Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

01, May, 2014 @8:00 PM

Article image
Submergence review – James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander drown in soggy romance
Wim Wenders’s globe-trotting tale of two lovers separated by circumstance is handsomely told but stilted dialogue and genre confusion weigh it down

Benjamin Lee

11, Sep, 2017 @10:14 PM

Article image
Grand Central review – atomically charged Tahar Rahim-Léa Seydoux romance

An erotic drama set in a nuclear power plant uses its unusual setting to irradiate Tahar Rahim and Léa Seydoux with ardour, writes Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

17, Jul, 2014 @8:40 PM

Article image
Manglehorn review – Al Pacino excels in a sleepy romance with hidden depths
In a film that’s a marked improvement on some of his other recent releases, Pacino plays a locksmith trudging mournfully through an America he no longer understands

Henry Barnes

06, Aug, 2015 @8:10 PM