Entertainment·FILM REVIEW

The Longest Ride offers romance fans a '2-for-1 deal on cheese'

The Longest Ride, the latest Nicholas Sparks romance movie, gallops into theatres this weekend, but the ride feels a little too long thanks to a double-barreled storyline, says CBC's film critic.

The latest Nicholas Sparks romance has the 'emotional complexity of a Hallmark Card,' says CBC's film critic

The latest Nicholas Sparks romance has all 'the emotional complexity of a Hallmark Card,' says CBC's film critic Eli Glasner. 2:24

The Longest Ride gallops into theatres this weekend, tempting audiences with the latest love story from bestselling romance writer Nicholas Sparks.

Like earlier Sparks stories, such as The Notebook and Dear John, The Longest Ride centres on an unlikely love affair between a man and a woman. 

But this time, the man is a professional bull rider named Luke (played by Clint Eastwood offspring Scott Eastwood); and the woman, named Sophia (played by Britt Robertson), is a city-bound art school grad with her eyes on a job in New York City.

Double-barreled storyline

Young Ruth, played by Oona Chaplin, and young Ira (played by Jack Huston) live a life filled with challenges in The Longest Ride. (Michael Tackett/20th Century Fox)
As one might expect, sparks fly when opposites attract, but the ride starts to feel a little long thanks to a double-barreled storyline.

Just as love blooms between Luke and Sophia, the pair learns of Ira and Ruth: a 1940s couple torn apart by war. Despite their differences, Sophia learns the two sets of love birds share a lot in common.

"Yes, it's 2-for-1 deal on cheese as The Longest Ride flits back and forth between the childless couple fighting for happiness and the story of the stoic bull rider hiding a secret," says CBC's film critic Eli Glasner.

Alan Alda, the veteran American actor and M*A*S*H star, takes a turn as the elder Ira.

Men of Honor director George Tillman, Jr. was tasked with bringing Sparks's story to the big screen. "But the predictable plot plays out with all the emotional complexity of a Hallmark Card," says Glasner.

The Longest Ride opens in theatres Friday.

Watch Eli's full review in the video above.

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