Way back in August, we gleefully/somewhat confusedly broke down a then-new trailer for The Best of Me, this year’s single Nicholas Sparks offering, to determine just how “Nicholas Sparks” it actually was. Verdict: very Nicholas Sparks! So it wasn’t entirely shocking when the finished product, a sappy and soppy love story starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, proved to be just as Sparksian in its delivery.
Sparks is back again with yet another feature film (since 2012, the author has averaged one film based on his novels per year, so no one should ever be surprised when a new one crops up, which is terrifying but true), one that just might mix up the brand. Kidding! It looks extremely Sparksian, but perhaps The Longest Ride will at least benefit from a slightly new-sounding backdrop: bull riding. Starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood, The Longest Ride explores the fated love between an artsy young lass and a bucky young stud (who, yes, likes bull riding). Will true love find a way? Will all the bulls be okay? Who will randomly die of cancer first? Let’s take a look at the first trailer to lay some guesses.
0:05 A nature-centric money shot.
0:06 A confused, but lovely lady. What are you in here for, Britt Robertson? (I don’t know, probably bull riding, because you’re clearly sitting front row at a bull riding competition, and maybe you should have asked these questions before you purchased your ticket, but whatever.)
0:07–0:09 A handsome winking man and a pleasingly gap-mouthed potential love interest. Is this love at first sight, people? Are we there already?
0:12–0:13 Oh, wait, there it is! The first eye-lock. We’ve got interest, you guys, we’ve got love. And, given that bucking bronco, we’ve also got…danger.
0:18 A free hat. This is new. Perhaps Sparks is finally branching out into bold new hat-giving territory.
0:19–0:23 Slightly sexy music that seems to be influenced by, dare we say it, Fifty Shades of Grey. We’re shocked.
0:22 A farm. A FARM.
0:24 “I met a girl.”
0:25 More of this goddamn hat. I’m already sick of this goddamn hat.
0:27 “You meet girls all the time.” Damn, Mom, harsh.
0:29 “No, not like this.” Has there ever been a more Sparksian exchange? (Beyond “I have to tell you something. It’s cancer,” of course.)
0:31–0:35 You know what? Points to Nicholas Sparks for playing up this bull riding thing. This trailer is actually, forgive us, kind of sexy, something we don’t normally see in Sparks trailers. Is this some kind of turning point? Did it really just require a bull?
0:34–0:37 Just a lot of staring. Nevermind.
0:38 More of that strange Fifty Shades of Grey interest. She’s not a businesswoman, she’s a business, uh, man.
0:40 “We come from such different worlds.”
0:41–0:46 Break out the hankies, ladies, we’ve got more sexy.
0:50–0:53 Beach campfire.
0:57–1:05 We have flaming car crash. Repeat: a flaming car crash.
1:11 Crotchety old guy.
1:13 Love letters clearly suffused with pain.
1:22–1:30 Flashback to some sort of golden age of romance, shiny light, and Jack Huston grinning like he’s got a gun held to his back.
1:31 Farm again.
1:32–1:40 Sad reflection on lost love, meant to help the sexy young ‘uns respect their own special love (read: sexual) connection.
1:44 “It wasn’t that simple.” BUT WHY HOW WHY.
1:47–1:49 Some actually damn fine cinematography involving a bull.
1:50 First mention of the morgue!
1:55–2:00 A fight about something that really should just be discussed in adult tones, but whatever.
2:01–2:04 War. :(
2:10 Title card that mentions “fate.”
2:11–2:14 More crying.
2:14 Shower sex.
2:15 Old timey dancing.
Verdict: mildly Sparksian, heavily influenced by Fifty Shades of Grey. Eesh.
The Longest Ride opens on April 10, 2015.