THE LAST KISS
*1/2 (out of 5)
September 15, 2006
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
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
Let me start this review by prefacing that “The Last Kiss” is not my cup of tea. In fact, it is almost 180 degrees out of phase of what I normally like. So, with that in mind, you can take my 1 1/2 star review with a grain of salt.
With that said, let me express my ultimately angst at how much I disliked “The Last Kiss.” I should have known, really, when I saw Paul Haggis’ name appear as the screenwriting credit. Haggis is the pretentious egomaniac who was responsible for last year’s undeserving Best Picture winner, “Crash.”
To be fair, “The Last Kiss” is better than “Crash,” but the Oscar winner made my ten worst films of 2005 list, so that’s not saying much.
“The Last Kiss” is a remake of an Italian film, which I haven’t seen so I can’t compare the two. However, if the original Italian version is anything like the American version, I’m not going to waste my time with it. The story follows Michael (Zach Braff) and Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) as a young couple living together. Michael has a phobia about marriage, but when Jenna announces that she’s pregnant, he’s forced to reevaluate their relationship.
During his reevaluation, an extraordinarily hot college student named Kim (Rachel Bilson) hits on him at a wedding and practically stalks him until he goes out with her. When Jenna discovers his indiscretion, it throws their relationship into turmoil.
I do like Zach Braff on “Scrubs,” but I haven’t found much to like with him in his film work. I thought “Garden State” was ridiculously overrated, and “The Last Kiss” offers little more than his “Scrubs” character with all of his humor surgically removed.
I guess my biggest problem with this movie is that I don’t subscribe to the cynical view of relationships. In one scene, Michael challenges Jenna to name three couples that have been together for more than five years. Of course, she couldn’t. However, when that line came up in the film, I made a quick mental list of couples I know that lasted longer than five years. I stopped counting at a dozen. I guess this puts me out of touch with the characters.
Another part that I just couldn’t swallow was how much Kim threw herself at Michael. I understand that some women find Zach Braff sexy (although I’d argue this is more for his celebrity, financial and popular status rather than his looks), Rachel Bilson is just too attractive for this. Why is it I never met someone like this when I was 29?
It was so far fetched that a ultra-hottie of Kim’s caliber would even waste time with Michael, let alone practically become a stalker to win him over. The whole thing seemed more like a plot of a porno movie – or at least some pre-slumber fantasy of Braff’s – than anything else.
Add this to the fact that the characters whine throughout the film about how difficult relationships are. This wouldn’t be a problem if they were teenagers, but they are all in their 20s and 30s. Why is this such a hard concept? The characters in the movie are so spoiled and simply don’t want to take any responsibility. Ultimately, this movie is a mess of neurotic, selfish, deplorable people, and I really didn’t care about any of them.