Film Review: The Longest Ride

This review is based on the film adaption of Nicholas Sparks’ book ‘The Longest Ride’, and not on the book itself. Please note that therefore this review may contain spoilers.

“Love requires sacrifice… but it’s worth it… always.”

The Longest Ride tells the tale of four people – Ira and Ruth, Luke and Sophia. Two separate love stories, and two different times – the 1940s and present day. It highlights that although time and people change, love never does. The story of how people fall in love, and love itself will always remain the same. It’s a film that makes you laugh, and makes you cry. It reaches out to the audience, and in a way it touches your heart.

We meet Sophia and Luke, who come from completely different worlds. Sophia is about to graduate and head off to her dream job in New York City, where as Luke is steadily climbing back up the board to be a champion bull rider (after a serious accident).

Sophia is talked into attending a rodeo event by her friend, Marcia. In her own way, Marcia is the enabler, who pushes Sophia out of her comfortable square box to try something different. It is all thanks to her that Sophia and Luke meet. On the first date, we see the gushy romantic view of how a guy should be. But, let’s be honest, it’s always nice to see a Southern gentleman come out. On the road home from their date, they come across Ira, who had crashed his vehicle. Luke saves his life, and Sophia saves his box of letters from the burning car. Once at the hospital, we see the beginnings of the conflicting paths and ideals surface between Luke and Sophia. They end up going their separate ways.

Cue the old man, with a lifetime of experiences under his belt. Ira wakes up to find that Sophia has saved, and read one of his beloved letters. They form an agreement where Sophia will read his letters for him. We are introduced to the love of his life, Ruth. From here on out, we are shown the struggles of loving someone. That sometimes life just gets in the way. When an opportunity to love, and I mean really love, comes along you need to take it. As Ira says, “I wish I could tell you that it will all be happily ever after. Not everyone gets that.” At the end of the day, The Longest Ride shows us what true love is. That love requires sacrifice. There is always something about overcoming the odds that speaks loudest to us, and I think this is where this film stands out.

“Love changes everything.” 

We see a cross over between Sophia and Ruth, as both are passionate lovers of art. Both Ira and Luke don’t understand the “Art World”, but they are willing to step outside of their comfort zones for those they love. In all, art and love is what ties the two stories together.

The Longest Ride is a romantic film, which draws attention to the challenges of love, and that in the end, it’s worth it. Here is the trailer for you lovers of romance to see, and it hits NZ cinemas on Thursday 9 April.

Please note that after the trailer there are spoilers, so proceed with caution. 

I did, however, find that the ending was quite predictable (albeit I have not read the book). Both Sophia and Luke are informed of Ira’s passing and requested to attend an auction for Ira’s estate. The first listed item in the auction is that of the portrait of Ruth, which told me how everything would end. It didn’t let the film down in any way. It’s kind of reassuring to know that everything works out how you imagine it would do. The Longest Ride is a lovely film, that fills you with hope. Maybe someday, if not already, a love worthy of sacrifice will find you.

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