Last Song, The

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Not recommended under 13, PG to 15 (Themes, Sexual references, Violence)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Last Song, The
  • a review of Last Song, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 April 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and lack of interest
Children aged 5-12 Not recommended due to violence, sexual references and themes
Children aged 13-15 Parental guidance due to sexual reference and themes
Children over the age of 15 Should be ok to view this movie, although parental guidance may still be helpful for some individuals

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Last Song, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, violence and coarse language
Length: 107 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Last Song tells the story of Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) a rebellious teenager adversely reacting to her parents’ divorce. The movie begins with Ronnie’s mother (Kelly Preston) sending Ronnie and her younger brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) off to spend the summer break with their father Steve (Greg Kinnear), much to the obvious annoyance of Ronnie who blames her father for deserting her and her brother. Since her parents’ divorce Ronnie has made every attempt to hurt her father including giving up on her musical talent, a talent taught and nurtured by her father, and making life choices that are destined to keep her miserable.

Throughout the summer break, Ronnie manages to find herself a distraction from her family woes in Will (Liam Hemsworth), a good-looking local, who manages to break through Ronnie’s angry exterior and discover the passionate and carefree side of Ronnie that she had forgotten existed. Ronnie’s new found happiness falters however when she discovers that her father is extremely ill and that this summer is to be the last one that she is to share with him.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family breakdown, serious illness and consequent death of father, rebellious acts including shoplifting and arson, relationship violence.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • there is reference to Ronnie smashing a piano with a baseball bat in anger
  • a teenage boy, Marcus (Nick Lashaway) makes forceful sexual moves on Ronnie. Marcus is drunk and aggressive in his approach; pushes himself onto Ronnie attempting to kiss her, grabs her legs and entwines them with his own. Ronnie manages to push him away and get away.
  • teenage couple Marcus and Blaze (Carly Chaikin) are shown arguing and Marcus is especially aggressive towards Blaze, yelling at her and telling her that she is worthless. Marcus drives off after pushing Blaze leaving her crying and crumpled on the ground.
  • Marcus crashes Will’s sister’s wedding with the intention of harassing Blaze. He is verbally abusive towards her and grabs at her until Ronnie and Will intervene.  Marcus then makes a sexually provocative remark about Ronnie saying he wants to take her as she would be ‘fun’ for the summer. Will then punches Marcus and the two are seen in a fist fight. At one point Marcus pulls out a crowbar and threatens Will with it.
  • Ronnie shoves Will in anger but he is not hurt.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Would lack interest for this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could disturb children aged five to twelve, including the following:

  • reference to Will’s brother dying in a car accident the previous year.  Will was in the car with the brother and the boy’s mother was driving and responsible for the accident.
  • Ronnie’s father Steve collapses on the beach
  • Steve is seen in hospital looking unwell. He is told that he will die in the very near future. Ronnie and Jonah are extremely distressed and upset.
  • Steve passes away in the presence of Ronnie
  • Steve’s funeral is shown and many people are upset including Jonah who is visibly distressed.
  • Blaze plants a stolen watch in Ronnie’s bag so that she will be caught shoplifting.
  • Reference to two boys being involved in arson and the consequent burning down of the local church. Because the boys are not forthright with a confession the arson is blamed unfairly on Ronnie’s father, whose reputation is obviously tarnished.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the violent and disturbing scenes listed above.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Many of the violent and disturbing scenes listed above, particularly the sexual violence, could concern some young teenagers.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Ford
  • Crocs
  • Mobil
  • Volvo.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • While drunk, Marcus grabs at Blaze and makes a suggestive comment to Ronnie.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • there are multiple passionate kisses seen between Will and Ronnie throughout the movie however no other sexual activity between the main characters.
  • Marcus makes forceful sexual moves on Ronnie (see comment in section on Violence).
  • two teenagers are seen lying on the beach together kissing in a sexualised manner
  • teenagers, boys and girls, are seen with skimpy clothes as they play volleyball.  Boys are all seen with shirts off and girls are seen in bikinis.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Ronnie is with a group of teenagers under the pier at the beach.  All of the teenagers except Ronnie are seen drinking or are obviously drunk.  Two are seen to be passed out on the beach and another two are seen lying down on the beach together and kissing.
  • Steve drinks a glass of wine with dinner
  • Will’s parents drink a glass of wine at dinner
  • Wine and champagne is served at a wedding. 
  • Marcus turns up at the wedding intoxicated and aggressive.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:

  • bitch
  • crappy
  • shut up
  • brat
  • jerk.

In a nutshell

The Last Song is a movie about young romance, with a strong message about the power of forgiveness and the family connection.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • honesty
  • forgiveness
  • family commitment
  • love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • the need in relationships to work through challenges, to have honesty and to forgive
  • domestic violence, with specific reference to the relationship between Marcus and Blaze
  • shoplifting
  • dishonesty- with specific reference to the two teenage boys not confessing to the arson
  • working through reactions to divorce.