Touchstone Pictures

Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Bobby Coleman, Liam Hemsworth, Hallock Beals, Kelly Preston

Ok, I will give you that I probably rated this higher than I should have.  So sue me, I’m a sucker for this kind of movie.  Immediately some people will hate it because Billy Ray’s little girl is in it.  I would rather expect to hate it because Greg Kinnear is in it.  (He’s not one of my favorite actors).  But actually both did a pretty good job.  If you haven’t heard the story yet, then try not to hear the ending before you see it, and it will make it better.  I did, and I was not expecting the ending.

Ronnie Miller (Miley) is a 17 year old who has a tremendous grudge against her father and mother.  Yet she’s forced to go to the beach to spend the summer with her dad and her little brother.  Tough life hunh,  having to spend the whole summer in a beach house!  Well, anyway, she’s really mad, mostly because Mom and Dad aren’t together anymore?   Sound familiar?   Well, she meets a local volleyballer on the beach, and falls in love.  He’s very persistent and she’s as stubborn as they come, so naturally there is a lot of friction.  Also Ronnie has a soft spot for those in need whether they be the local “bad” girl, or the baby turtles on the shore.  She’s a nester, and has to nurture whoever needs some nurturing.

There are at least 3 or 4 major stories going on here, and relationships to break and mend everywhere.   Dad is a musician with a bad reputation on his back for a wrong he did the town that he is trying to make up for.  Ronnie’s volleyball playing sweetheart has a few secrets of his own he’s hiding, and everyone has ulterior motives it seems.  But it all works out in the end somehow.

I understand that this is taken from an excellent book, and some reviewers who were huge fans of the book were disappointed in the movie.  I can understand that, as it is tough to turn an excellent book into a 90 minute tearjerker of a movie, but I didn’t have that bias going in, and I truly enjoyed it.   Relationship movies are the kind I really like, and this one has a lot of souls to reform before it’s over.

All in all Greg Kinnear did a fine job as the father, and Kelly Preston is beautiful as ever as the mother, but Miley did a pretty good job carrying the lead.  I can understand some criticism of her acting skills, as she has a long way to go, but roles like this are pretty well suited for her, and though maybe she’s a little young for all the kissing and makeout scenes, she is growing up and will grow into these kinds of things.  But she showed the anger and the heartbreak,  the love and the hate, pretty well for a huge leading role like this.   The movie may have been better with a different lead actress, but the story is strong enough to surpass her immaturity in acting skills.

Well worth a watch, especially if you like “chick flicks”.



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