Miley Cyrus’ transition from teenage starlet to adult actress begins with a soppy Nicholas Sparks-scripted romance that sees her as a stroppy New Yorker less than thrilled to be spending the summer with her estranged dad (Greg Kinnear) at his Georgia beach house.
The moment beefy jock Will (Liam Hemsworth) hoves into view, you know it’s only a matter of time before they’re frolicking in the surf and carving their initials on trees.
Clumsily incorporating Hannah Montana tropes (a dress-up montage, an aggravating kid brother) into a mawkish story of family reconciliation, Julie Anne Robinson’s film peddles banal truisms (“Love is fragile, and we’re not always the best caretakers!”) as if they’re freshly minted.
Miley, meanwhile, remains chastely virginal throughout, the movie’s prim timidity established early by Kinnear drawing a literal line in the sand to keep her and Hemsworth apart as they share a night on the dunes.
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