"THE LAST KISS"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
BLURAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Zach Braff as MICHAEL
Jacinda Barrett as JENNA
Casey Affleck as CHRIS
Rachel Bilson as KIM
Michael Weston as IZZY
Blythe Danner as ANNA
Tom Wilkinson as STEPHEN
Eric Christian Olsen as KENNY
Directed by: Tony Goldwyn
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A remake of an Italian film, “The Last Kiss” is about several relationships in various stages of destruction – and how each couple deals with adversity. The main story follows Michael (Zach Braff) and Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), a young couple living together who just discovered they’re pregnant. This revelation terrifies the marriage-phobic Michael, and his eye starts to wander. Soon, he finds Kim (Rachel Bilson), a hot college student who pursues a relationship with him.
Meanwhile, Jenna’s parents are splitting up over an affair her mother had. Michael’s friend Chris (Casey Affleck) is struggling with the pressures of being a father. His other friend Izzy (Michael Weston) is still not over his ex-girlfriend. And his third friend Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen) is discovering that the perfect sexual relationship never remains just about the sex.
WHAT I LIKED
When I first saw this film back in 2006, I really hated it. Prior to the release of “Casino Royale,” I generally disliked Paul Haggis’ script (e.g., “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash”). And, I was very cynical about cynical movies like this one.
However, after dealing with some relationship strife in my own life (including my own challenges as a father of two at the time, plus a healthy dose of relationship drama from various friends), I had a more realistic view of how couples interact. There was an odd string of events I encountered since first seeing this movie that mirrored the film in a remarkable way.
For example, when I originally reviewed “The Last Kiss,” I said: “I just couldn’t swallow [how] Kim threw herself at Michael... Rachel Bilson is just too attractive for this. Why is it I never met someone like this when I was 29?”
Well, this never happened when I was 29, but I encountered more than one example through various people I know that this sort of thing did happen. I though this was too far-fetched back in 2006. But somehow, in present day, I realized that these sorts of things did happen. And it wasn’t just Zach Braff’s character. I saw similar accounts in real life that mirrored the stories behind the characters of Chris and Izzy.
With a more mature look at “The Last Kiss” in its brand new BluRay release, I realized that the movie struck at the core of relationships. It’s a messy film because it deals with messy subject matter. But if you know what sort of things will be thrown at you, this film actually does work... it just took me three years to realize this.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While I don’t have the venom for “The Last Kiss” that I did three years ago, it is not without its problems. One of my initial complaints was that the film posed the challenge to find more than five couples that have been together for five years or more. I know plenty of couples that have been together for that long, if not far longer. This shows the movie is still a bit overly cynical for myself.
I think what really got in my way was that every couple in this movie was suffering a serious relationship drama. While I know that people break up and get back together every day, it’s pretty rare for everyone you know in your life to be in a crumbling romance.
The BluRay disc includes tow commentaries, one featuring Zach Braff and director Tony Goldwyn. The other features Zach Braff, Tony Goldwyn, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Michael Weston and Eric Christian Olsen.
Four featurettes give insightful details to the film. “Filmmakers’ Perspective” follows the genesis of the project and how things developed. “Getting Together” explains the process of bringing together the cast. “Behind Our Favorite Scenes” gives the cast and crew’s perspective on favorite scenes, including the wedding, the dinner, the break up and director Tony Goldwyn’s favorite scene. “Last Thoughts” gives everyone’s final thoughts on the film.
Additional features include a music video by Cary Brothers, directed by Zach Braff; a slate of deleted scenes; a gag reel and the theatrical trailer.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who’s dealing with relationship drama.