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Last Song, The


Stars: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Liam Hemsworth, Kelly Preston, Bobby Coleman

Director: Julie Anne Robinson

Rated 2.8 out of 10 on the Internet, this set-by-the-sea combination of tear-jerker and teenage romance isn't actually that bad. Nor is Miley Cyrus in the key role of the rebellious teen reluctantly spending, with her younger brother (Coleman), the summer with her composer father (Kinnear) after her parents' divorce. She should be more careful about continuity, though: when the camera switches angles, her expressions seldom match.

Ill-mannered and sullen, Ronnie (Miley) is a talented pianist (disconcertingly it's obviously not the star playing) who has turned down a music scholarship to Juilliard and faces an uncertain futiure.

Naturally, there's a teen romance to brighten the picture, after Ronnie bonds with Will (Hemsworth, her current real-life squeeze) over a clutch of turtle eggs menaced by marauding raccoons. And her heart of gold shows through when helping a girl who's tried to get her into trouble.

Horizons darken again, though, when Daddy gets sick - why didn't they let Mom (Preston) know earlier? - and Miley and Greg get to do a sanitised Beaches-style ending. Miley, who also sings a little here, mostly off screen, will need to up her game if she's to tackle more dramatic roles, but she's only 17 and time is firmly on her side.

David Quinlan

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 24 Apr 2010