Buy The Longest Ride Blu-ray + Digital HD
Regular price $19.96
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray + Digital HD
Reviewer: Melissa on July 27, 2015
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Based on the bestselling book my “love story” writer, Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride centers on the star-crossed love between Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood), a guy who used to be a champion bull rider before an accident put him out of commission for a while, and Sophia (Britt Robertson), a college student who nearly finished her art degree in North Carolina and about to begin her first internship in New York City’s art world. While conflicting paths and ideals in life test their relationship, they make an unexpected connection with Ira (Alan Alda), an old man whose memories of his relationship with his beloved wife become a touchstone for the young couple. Spanning three generations with two intertwined love stories, The Longest Ride movie explores the obstacles to and infinite rewards of relationships that beat the odds.
In a review by Pete Hammond of Deadline, The Longest Ride (directed by George Tillman Jr.) is called “the best [Sparks’ film adaptation] since 2004’s blockbuster The Notebook.” As someone who has watched most, if not all, of the film adaptations of Sparks’ books without reading them,* I was pretty excited to hear this comparison. Even when I read Hammond’s entire review and not just the sound bite and learned that he thought it wasn’t “in the same league as that Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams tear-jerker,” I was still looking forward to watching it. Now having seen it, I can say that it’s a decent romantic comedy that is perfect for girls’ night in or date night in front of your home entertainment center, on your computer, tablet, or even your phone with the digital HD copy.
Of course, my assertion that The Longest Ride Blu-ray a decent rom-com doesn’t mean it’s a perfect movie. There are a few plot holes, including the physical distance between NYC and Walkerton, NC isn’t insurmountable in contemporary society if Luke and Sophia truly have true love on their side. With this in mind, I think the description of them as star-crossed lovers is an overreach of the highest level. I do agree that it’s an obstacle or a complication, but it’s not the same as being from opposite sides of a bloody family feud, like in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Similarly, there’s a twist at the end, which makes things a little too easy for the young couple to set aside all of their differences and to each have what they want out of life in a way they never expected would be possible. I almost called it a Deus ex Machina-like device, but it actually isn’t divine intervention or completely implausible, just unlikely.
In addition to the relationship that develops between Luke and Sophia, I really loved the how the romance that grew between Ira – the older widower who they help – and his wife Ruth is depicted through old love letters that he wrote to her. When Sophia reads the letters aloud to Ira because his eyesight has declined over time, Ira, the young couple, and the viewer are transported from the present moment back to his life from the 1940s, initially, and then over the course of their decades-long marriage (played by Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston). The letters depict the good and the bad of their relationship, the benefits and the hardships that they have to overcome, which sticks in the minds of both Sophia and Luke when they need to make a compromise. As one would expect, there are several parallels between the type of people Ira and Ruth and Luke and Sophia are – this is an adapted film after all – which isn’t realistic, but makes for a better story.
While it won’t wow you as much as The Notebook did, this film will definitely had the power to launch the careers of Scott Eastwood – yes, he’s the son of Clint Eastwood – and Britt Robertson. Moreover, if you pick up the Blu-ray with Digital HD combo pack, you’ll be able to enjoy a decent choice of Special Features, including:
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Audio Commentary by director George Tillman Jr. and actress Oona Chaplin
- A Writer’s Journey: A Day in the Life of Nicholas Sparks
- Beyond the Ride
- Bringing It to Life
- Meet the Bull Riders
- Luke’s Bull Riding School
While The Longest Ride on Blu-ray and Digital HD won’t win any Oscars, it is definitely a romantic movie that will fit the bill.
Buy The Longest Ride on Blu-ray + Digital HD today and get it for $19.96!