Mopey, Mute Miley Cyrus Stars in Last Song Trailer


As trailers go, The Last Song's new one has a few disadvantages right from the get-go. For starters, as the second Nicholas Sparks adaptation planned for release in 2010, Song is automatically guaranteed to shrink in the long, hulking shadow of the Channing-tacular Dear John. Second, it opens with expository narration that could have been lifted from an ESL divorce class. Third, there's no Touchstone logo at the top -- the studio equivalent of wearing Groucho glasses and a mustache to its daughter's coming-out party. Fourth, it turns out to be Miley Cyrus's coming-out party. Need I go on? All right, if you say so.

The trailer attempts to sell the simple story of a divorced father (Greg Kinnear) in a typically Sparksian coastal town, a composer preparing to welcome his estranged young son and teenage daughter (Cyrus) for an extended visit from New York. The father and son are buddy-buddy from the start ("You live on the beach? That's awesome!"), but the girl is less impressed. Dad doesn't even know she went vegetarian a year-and-a-half ago! Weak, Dad, seriously. So she runs off to a carnival where she meets a boy (Liam Hemsworth) worth laying on the beach with, playfully flinging mud at, confessing her secrets to and eventually swapping spit with.

This catalyzes some much-needed father-daughter bonding, not to mention the bulk of Miley's lines spoken here. Mostly she sulks around like a pert, bronzed Boo Radley, silently carting the burden of her parents' shattered marriage into her own chaste summer fling. Kinnear is trying much harder, but the spot prevails upon a charm too inappropriately romantic for the context. The young son has all the good lines -- a smart-ass little sage with insights tumbling forth like sand out of his deck shoes. Will Miley keep her date with Julliard, where she's been admitted but is too preoccupied on the beach to attend? Will Kinnear reconcile with ex-wife Kelly Preston, who chokes back a tear at the swelling climax of the requisite Soundtrack Featuring New Songs by Miley Cyrus?

Who even cares? You've seen all of this before, and the trailer succeeds in its job of reassuring moist-eyed ladies that the treacly Sparks Stamp of Approval is the same, reliable symbol of quality it's always been. And anyway, as long as Touchstone can help move some Miley units for the parents at Disney, it's mission accomplished. Still, I can't help but imagine an alternate, 2012-esque universe where Miley turns to Kinnear after outrunning Song's hormonal tsunami, smiles big and yelps, "No more pull-ups!" This could really use the sincerity.

VERDICT: Hell no, but your mother's mileage may vary.

· The Last Song [Trailer Addict]