The Last Song – Movie Review

The Last Song

Movie review by Stacey Tuttle

“Love is fragile and we aren’t always the best caretakers.”

The Last Song is a story about love, love in a variety of forms: sibling love, parent/child love, romantic love, friend love, even loving those who hurt you.  But more than just being a story about love, it’s a story about reconciling love—about restoring love where love went wrong.  This is arguably the central beauty of the film.  While many films focus on first love, or the beginning of love, or the ending of love, not as many focus on the restoring of love. 

As Ronnie’s dad admits, “love is fragile and we aren’t always the best caretakers.”  And it is this poor caretaking (in numerous ways) that has caused hurt and pain in the characters in the film.  And, because people have been hurt by love, they protect themselves from further hurt by pushing others away (Ronnie, for example) or by indiscriminately welcoming everyone in (Will, for example).  But, as I said, this story isn’t about the pain that’s caused when loves goes wrong.  The story is really about reconciling, healing, and loving again. 

As the central character, we get to see both the pain and the healing most clearly in Ronnie.  She learns to love her father again, she learns to love herself, and she learns to love her boyfriend.  And in the process of learning to love, Ronnie has to have some grace for the imperfections and the growth process in others.   

Admittedly, people can become better at loving others to some degree through their own efforts.  However, what I would ask is whether people might have more success at being love’s caretakers, and at reconciling when they have failed, if they were to follow some of the Biblical guidelines for love? The Last Song admits that it is a struggle to love well and  laments this fact, but gives little advice to the general populace as to how to go about being a better caretaker. 

The Bible offers a lot of advice on how to guard and protect and grow love.  I Corinthians 13:4-8 is just one small selection of advice, (albeit a popular one), but it is so packed with good advice it could keep you busy for a lifetime trying to master it. 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.  (ESV)

Questions for Discussion:

  • Which characters in the movie showed characteristics of love as described in I. Cor. 13?  Explain when/ how.
  • At what times in the movie did a character fail to show I. Cor. 13 love and what were the consequences?
  • Whatever your personal views on the Bible, do you think that your relationships would be better if you could be better about loving the way I. Cor. 13 says to love?  ?  Would you be a better “caretaker of love”?
  • Whether or not you believe Jesus was the Son of God, would you say that he was a good “caretaker of love”?
  • From your personal experience with Christians, would you say that Christians in general do a good job of modeling I. Cor. 13?