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Oona Chaplin

'The Longest Ride' looks pretty, but looks aren't everything

Even with all “The Longest Ride’s” shots of the eye candy that is Scott Eastwood, Nicholas Sparks’ latest romance to make its tissue-sodden way to the big screen is a wash. A long one.

Montages of walks along the ocean, horseback rides through verdant meadows and Eastwood’s ever-present abs do provide endless pretty pictures. (In the looks department, Eastwood definitely does Daddy Clint proud.) But pretty pictures do not make a movie.

The two-plus hours is mostly marked by an emptiness born of scene after scene designed to blatantly manipulate emotions rather than trigger them.

More disquieting is Sparks' co-opting of the very compelling...