The Last Song is about Ronnie (Miley Cyrus), a rebellious teenager reacting negatively to her parents’ divorce. The movie begins with Ronnie’s mother (Kelly Preston) sending Ronnie and her brother, Jonah (Bobby Coleman), to spend the summer break with their father, Steve (Greg Kinnear). This upsets Ronnie, who blames her father for deserting her and her brother. Since her parents’ divorce, Ronnie has tried hard to hurt her father. For example, she has given up on her musical talent, a talent taught and nurtured by her father. She is also making life choices that are destined to keep her miserable.
Throughout the summer break, Ronnie manages to find herself a distraction from her family woes in Will (Liam Hemsworth). He’s a good-looking local who breaks through Ronnie’s angry exterior. He discovers Ronnie’s passionate and carefree side, which she has forgotten. Ronnie’s newfound happiness is shaken when she discovers that her father is extremely ill. This summer is to be the last one that she can share with him.
Family breakdown; serious illness and parental death; rebellious acts including shoplifting and arson; relationship violence
This movie contains some violence. For example:
- We hear about Ronnie angrily smashing a piano with a baseball bat.
- A teenage boy called Marcus (Nick Lashaway) makes forceful sexual moves on Ronnie. Marcus is drunk and aggressive. He pushes himself onto Ronnie and tries to kiss her. He grabs her legs and entwines them with his own. Ronnie manages to push him away and escape.
- Teenage couple Marcus and Blaze (Carly Chaikin) argue. Marcus is very aggressive towards Blaze, yelling at her and telling her that she is worthless. Marcus drives off after pushing Blaze. He leaves her crying and crumpled on the ground.
- Marcus crashes Will’s sister’s wedding with the intention of harassing Blaze. He verbally abuses her and grabs at her until Ronnie and Will intervene. Marcus then makes a sexually provocative remark about Ronnie. He says he wants to take her as she would be ‘fun’ for the summer. Will punches Marcus and the two have a fist fight. At one point Marcus pulls out a crowbar and threatens Will with it.
- Ronnie shoves Will in anger, but he isn’t hurt.
Content that may disturb children
The movie lacks interest for this age group.
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could disturb children in this age group. For example:
- Will’s brother died in a car accident the previous year. Will was in the car with his brother. Their mother was driving and responsible for the accident.
- Ronnie’s father Steve collapses on the beach.
- Steve is sick and unwell in hospital. He is told that he will die in the very near future. Ronnie and Jonah are extremely distressed and upset.
- Steve dies with Ronnie at his side.
- At Steve’s funeral, many people are upset. Jonah is visibly distressed.
- Blaze plants a stolen watch in Ronnie’s bag so that she will be caught shoplifting.
- Two boys are involved in arson and burning down the local church. Because the boys don’t confess straight away, the arson is blamed unfairly on Ronnie’s father, whose reputation is tarnished.
Many of the violent and disturbing scenes listed above, particularly the ones involving sexual violence, could concern some young teenagers.
This movie contains some sexual references. For example, while drunk, Marcus grabs at Blaze and makes a suggestive comment to Ronnie.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- Ronnie is with a group of teenagers under the pier at the beach. All except Ronnie are drinking or obviously drunk. Two are passed out on the beach. Another two are lying on the beach together kissing.
- Steve drinks a glass of wine with dinner.
- Will’s parents drink wine at dinner.
- Wine and champagne are served at a wedding.
- Marcus turns up at the wedding drunk and aggressive.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Will and Ronnie often kiss passionately.
- Marcus makes forceful sexual moves on Ronnie.
- Two teenagers are seen lie on the beach together, kissing in a sexual way.
- Teenage boys and girls are seen in skimpy clothes as they play volleyball. The boys have their shirts off, and the girls are wearing bikinis.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Ford, Crocs, Mobil and Volvo.
This movie contains some mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Last Song is a movie about young romance, with a strong message about the power of forgiveness and family connection.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include honesty, forgiveness, family commitment and love.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as:
- the importance of working through challenges in relationships, and being honest and forgiving
- the importance of working through reactions to divorce
- domestic violence, specifically the relationship between Marcus and Blaze
- dishonesty, specifically the two teenage boys not confessing to arson.