The Longest Ride starring Scott Eastwood, was released April 10 and I’ll admit I went and saw the movie. I felt it was appropriate to write a review for my horse/rodeo friends but it took me up until now to make the time for it to be polished and published. (Long enough for the movie to be released on DVD…oops!)
After finishing the book a few months ago, I knew where the story line would take me and in typical Nicholas Sparks fashion knew I was in for cheesy romance and heartbreak.
This movie has provided a lot of hype for the PBR and rodeo. The PBR bucked some bulls in LA for the premiere event and it fueled a moving article from the New York Times about renowned 1970 PRCA World Champion Bull Rider Gary Leffew.
Eastwood was also interviewed on Jimmy Fallon and rode a bull for himself.
With all the PBR insight I had higher hopes for this "cowboy movie" but was left disappointed. It was easy to spot the real deal PBR riders and other professional cowboys in the film. They had on starched jeans in a suitable length and their hats were creased to perfection. Someone should have told the costume designer that the hat makes the cowboy and jeans need to hide the tops of your boots especially during the scenes when Sofia (Brittany Robertson) and Luke (Scott Eastwood) were horseback. Which were in their own right painful to watch but at least the horses had on realistic tack and looked the part.
The slow motion bull riding scenes were interesting but by the third or fourth round became quite monotonous. I found myself drawn more to the love story between Ira and Ruth than that of Luke and Sofia.
The Red Eye, a Chicago Tribune publication said it best, " 'The Longest Ride' is romantic for about 8 seconds." Eastwood and Robertson lacked the on screen chemistry to pull off the "city girl falls for a cowboy" love story. In their defense the lines and the costuming could use some major work.
On a positive note the soundtrack was amazing and you get more than a few glances at the abs of Scott Eastwood. The films release has, as mentioned earlier brought a lot publicity knocking on the doors of the PBR and it was refreshing to see brands like Ariat and Wrangler make it on screen.
In analyzing the press, for once they seem to be painting rodeo and bull riding in a positive and more importantly, accurate light. For heaven's sake, The New York Times did a piece on bull riding! That's big deal.
All in all if you head to The Longest Ride you're headed for the longest two hours, save the money and go to a real PBR event.