Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
If you had to update the film for the Instagram generation, you could do a lot worse than what director Shana Feste (“Country Strong”) has come up with. She has crafted a stylish, evocative journey into overheated-teenager territory. For a good chunk of the time, it works.
A flowerier adaptation of the Scott Spencer romance than Zeffirelli's '80s version, it's tailor-made for the Nicholas Sparks crowd.
The film also contains fleeting moments of authenticity. Most of these come courtesy of Robert Patrick, who plays David’s father, and Greenwood. Together, these two veteran actors turn could-be-thankless “good dad/bad dad” roles into credible depictions of wounded masculinity. Unfortunately, the movie isn’t about them.
Greenwood and Richardson make a fine, discordant couple and the young leads have a certain chemistry. If only Feste had realized she’d stripped almost all the conflict out of the story.
Slant Magazine
Shana Feste's film seems blissfully unaware that great fights require truly substantial conflicts.
A highly homogenized and sanitized remake that's little better than its 1981 predecessor.
The Dissolve
Pettyfer and Wilde look the parts, but any scenes asking them to emote quickly turn disastrous.
In “The Greatest” (2009) and “Country Strong” (2010), Feste proved herself quite skilled, if not especially innovative, at limning her characters’ emotional travails. But subtlety, complexity and even the slightest modicum of realism elude her here.
Pettyfer and Wilde (both Brits) look the part in a soft-drinks-commercial way, but their characters might as well be called Ken and Barbie for all the depth they bring to this wish-fulfilment fantasy of social mobility.
Not to harp on petty details, but this film is so colossally tone-deaf and off-key in every way that its collection of jarring missteps almost carries it into the arms of perverse comedy.

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