Bottom line: The Last Song is a coming-of-age story based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. This movie about family, friendship and love contains deeply emotional scenes and deals with heavy thematic elements surrounding first love, death, divorce and more. Bring a box of Kleenex.MPAA Rating: PG, for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language
Guide Age Recommendation: 12+
Runtime: 107 minutes
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Hallock Beals, Nick Lashaway, Carly Chaikin
Release Date: March 31, 2010
The Last Song - Overview
A troubled teen who isn't quite sure what to do with her life, Ronnie is sure about one thing: visiting her father for the summer is not what she wants to do. When Ronnie and her little brother Jonah arrive in the small beach town where their father lives, Jonah is intent on spending some quality time with his dad, while Ronnie seems intent on making the whole trip as miserable as possible. She spends most of her time exploring the town, where she meets a misguided friend named Blaze and a hot beach volleyball player named Will.
Blaze and her messed up boyfriend, Marcus, turn out to be trouble. Ronnie won't give Will the time of day, but this only makes him more interested. When Ronnie determines to save a nest of baby sea turtle eggs in her backyard, Will joins her in her quest and wins his way into her life. The two become close, and Ronnie begins to open up. She shares with him her love of music and he shares some things about his past. Just as things seem to be finally going well for Ronnie, everything changes when the devastating truth about her father's situation comes out, and a terrible secret threatens to destroy Will and Ronnie's relationship. Through all of this heartbreak, though, Ronnie just might discover her own strength and finally figure out who she is and what she wants.
The Last Song - Guide Review for Parents
Like other Nicholas Sparks stories, The Last Song presents a touching and meaningful glimpse of life and love. The main character, Ronnie, is misguided at first, and she has done some things she should not have, but she was hurt and confused, and her attitude is a reactionary wall she has built to protect herself. Deep down, she is pure in heart, and her strength of character comes through as the movie progresses. This story about a complicated young girl facing some of life's most difficult challenges conveys a heart-wrenching moral about the importance of family and of opening one's heart up to love on many different levels.
This movie contains heavy emotional scenes that could be very disturbing for young children. Even adults may need a box of tissues to get through it. While Miley Cyrus is the star, The Last Song is nothing like Hannah Montana, so parents will definitely want to be aware that the movie deals with themes such as death, divorce, young love, bitterness, anger, and regret. Also, teens in the movie engage in some bad behavior including: acting out against parents, stealing from a store, juggling with fire, lying, fighting, and drinking. The movie also contains some mild language. For a more detailed description of the possibly offensive or disturbing material, please see the "Content Overview" below.
The Last Song - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (Low): When an angry and probably drunk college-age guy crashes a party and threatens two girls, another young man fights with him, knocking him down and punching him in the face. One threatens the other with a crow bar.
- Sex/Nudity (Medium): The beach setting lends to a lot of young women in bikinis and men with no shirts on. Passionate kissing and mild making out occurs a few times in the movie.
- Drugs and Alcohol (Medium) Adults are shown drinking wine and champagne. Some characters who are likely not quite 21 drink beer.
- Language (Medium): "My God" or variations of the phrase are used several times. The words "B**ch," "hell," and "damn" are used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Extreme): Ronnie is horribly mean and sarcastic to her father. She pays off her brother so he won't tell on her to his parents about various things. We find out that Ronnie was previously arrested for shoplifting, and she is accused of the crime again when Blaze puts an item in her purse to frame her. Marcus and others drink, and Marcus comes onto Ronnie, who refuses him. He is an emotionally abusive control freak and treats Blaze badly. Some characters have tattoos or piercings.
- Scary Scenes (Low): Content listed under "violence" may be scary or suspenseful to kids. Kids may be scared for the baby sea turtles when the raccoons try to eat the eggs, and during one jump scene when Ronnie is surprised by a raccoon at night.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Extreme): Ronnie and her father have a tense relationship, and she has bitter and hurt feelings because of her parents divorce and the fact that her dad moved away from them. Ronnie's father is hurt by his daughter's behavior. Will shares the sad details of his brother's death and the impact it has had on his family. SPOILER: Parents of young kids should know, that Ronnie's father collapses, and it is revealed that he is ill and going to die. The movie contains many heart-wrenching scenes as the kids deal with their father's illness and eventually his death. During all of this, Ronnie finds out something that causes her to feel that Will has betrayed her, and she is bitterly sad and angry at him over that.
- Topics to Discuss:After seeing The Last Song, kids may have questions about: acting out, death, divorce, relationships, shoplifting, being arrested, family problems, drinking, fires, arson.
The Last Song - Blu-ray Combo Pack Features
The Blu-ray combo pack also includes the DVD of the film. Here is a look at some of the special features:
- Alternate Opening Sequence: Interesting sequence involving the fire at the church, but I'm so glad they went with the one they did.
- Deleted Scenes: 5 short deleted scenes
- Set Tour with Bobby Coleman: Bobby Coleman rocks, and this is actually more of an introduction to some behind-the scenes personalities than a set tour -- very fun.
- Miley Cyrus Music Video: "When I Look at You"
- Making of the Miley Cyrus Music Video
- Audio Commentary with Julie Anne Robinson