Nicholas Sparks, why do you do this to us time and time again? At this point, I firmly believe that most of your movies are all the same, with a different layer of skin added each time you need a paycheck.

It’s a shame that of the romance films that actually try get a bad reputation because of films like this.

It’s not enough that I had to sit through them, but did it have to clock in at over 139 minutes?

Sophia [Britt Robertson] is studying so that she can enter the New York art lifestyle. Luke [Scott Eastwood] plans to make a comeback in his bull-riding career.

By coincidence, they run into each other and instantly make a connection. Coming home from a date, they notice that an elderly man drove over a guardrail and off the road.

They bring the man known as Ira [Alan Alda] to the local hospital where he has Sophia read him some letters that he wrote to his long time love, Ruth [Oona Chaplain].

Soon, the stories from the past and the present come together as they begin to parallel each other.

I was in no way looking forward to this film, but I still went into the theater with an open mind. Not to my surprise, it turned out to be exactly what thought it was going to be.

All of the tropes in a typical Nicholas Sparks novel are here and shoved in your face. How can you forget romantic letters from the past, cheesy narration and the inevitable tragedy that brings the couple together?

Although, “The Longest Ride” does do something that a lot of his adaptations don’t do. The film as a whole is competently shot, which gives the illusion that it’s a good movie.

The only problem is that it uses the cinematography and the actors to mask up the smell of a stinker.

Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood both have good careers ahead of them and this wasn’t a great way to start them.

Like most good actors in a poorly-written movie, they don’t have much to work with but schmaltzy dialogue. It’s the same “we come from different lifestyles but we’ll make it work” love story that once again, adds nothing new or interesting to the mix.

This felt less like a theatrical release and more like a Lifetime movie of the week. To offset the young romance is a side story involving a World War II love affair. It’s much more interesting, but instead of doing its own thing, it succumbs to the same standard tropes that we see time and time again.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to find anything interesting to talk about. I feel like, after a while, I would keep repeating myself over and over again.

Overall, “The Longest Ride” isn’t the worst film I’ve seen this year, but it is one of the laziest. Most of the actors will go on to do great things, but this didn’t help them any. Because I know that they will make more films like this, I have one bit of advice: don’t make them over two hours and, if you do, make sure there’s a good reason!

Rating: D+       

Matt Bilodeau can be contacted at 

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