The films on which Nicholas Sparks’ novels are based are brethren of the same oeuvre, where the distance between romance and tragedy is never long, and how willing you are to give yourself over to the transparent emotional machinations of the star-crossed romance plot really depends on the quality of the performances offered. Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in 2004’s The Notebook
(the Sparks canon’s Citizen Kane)? A perfect lazy afternoon. Miley Cyrus, however, is a bitter pill to swallow, with her unpleasant musical prodigy character embodied with a shallow depth of feeling: Her father’s illness is met with a reaction similar to that of her boyfriend’s inevitable, arbitrary screw-up. Cyrus either lacks genuine acting talent or serious training, but she’s robbed The Last Song
of its one shot at credibility.