Based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks’ (“A Walk to Remember,” “The Notebook”) forthcoming novel, “The Last Song” is set in a small Southern beach town where an estranged father (Greg Kinnear) gets a chance to spend the summer with his reluctant teenaged daughter (Miley Cyrus), who’d rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common—music—in a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along with first loves and second chances.
Although the lead character, Ronnie (Miley Cyrus), begins the film as an angry, emotionally closed-off teenager who yells at and disrespects her father, this only leads to the eventual lessons of forgiveness and love that she learns. Her father shows the value of unconditional love, which Ronnie eventually learns to emulate later in the story when she shows kindness to a girl who had snubbed her and framed her for stealing. Ultimately, Ronnie learns that everybody needs forgiveness because “everyone makes mistakes; even people we love.”
Ronnie’s behavior is that of a better than average teenage girl: she gets mad at her parents, but doesn’t drink, smoke, have sex with boys or rebel in any obvious way other than perhaps staying out too late. Reference is made to her shoplifting in New York, but when she is tempted by a friend to do it again, she boldly refuses. Ronnie’s journey from emotional poverty to fulfilling, rich relationships is a familiar arc that will hit home with many frustrated young teens. Due to some mild language and sophisticated themes, we are recommending it for ages twelve and above. This is an inspiring movie! We gladly award it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.