Normally, Nicholas Sparks adaptations are nothing to get excited about, but the cast that is coming together for The Longest Ride, Fox’s latest attempt to find Notebook-style success with a tearjerker from the prolific author, is unusually interesting. We previously reported that Scott Eastwood (yes, son of Clint), Boardwalk Empire actor Jack Huston and acting veteran Alan Alda had boarded the project in leading roles, joining Game of Thrones actress Oona Chaplin and Under the Dome star Britt Robertson. Now we’ve learned that Lolita Davidovich has also signed on.
Davidovich, who recently appeared alongside the late James Gandolfini in HBO original movie Cinema Verite, will play the protective mother of Eastwood’s character, a cowboy who goes out during a blizzard in a race against time to save his family ranch and the love of his life (Robertson). His path intersects with that of an imperilled older man (Alda) who reflects on a lost love (Chaplin) while trapped in his car following a crash. Through a chance occurrence, the two generations of lovers collide and are able to save one another.
George Tillman Jr. is directing the film, from a script by Craig Bolotin, Brad Desch, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber. That talented team of writers is also a reason to keep an eye on The Longest Ride. Bolotin wrote No Small Affair and TV movie Salem Falls, Desch is behind the upcoming Fathers and Daughters, and Neustadter and Weber are the red-hot duo behind (5o0) Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now and The Fault in Our Stars.
The official Amazon synopsis for The Longest Ride reads as follows:
Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
It’s certainly an ambitious love story, and with a cast as strong as this, The Longest Ride is definitely one worth looking out for.