Take one pint-sized actress and mix in hunky male (piercing blue eyes optional). Add geographic distance/serious illness/drastically opposed lifestyles, or all three. Scatter clichés generously. Take care not to introduce subtlety.

Another cookie-cutter Nicholas Sparks adaptation emerges undercooked, seemingly without undergoing redrafts or second takes. Even Robertson looks insincere at times, and no wonder. Not content with bearing no relation to reality, The Longest Ride produces an offensively convenient happy ending which counters its “message” that “love requires sacrifice.”

Alda somehow sells both the cantankerousness and anguish of his plot-device character, but nothing else surprises.

Allergy information: do not consume if intolerant of weepy melodrama, (East)wooden acting, or poor plotting. Contains empty calories and no cine-nutritional value. Cannot guarantee tear free.



CAST: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda, Jack Huston

DIRECTOR: George Tillman Jr.

WRITERS: Nicholas Sparks (novel), Craig Bolotin (screenplay)

SYNOPSIS: After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with that of an older man reflecting on a past love.