|In Summary: People Suck|
I'm a fan of Zach Braff. You could probably gather as much from my uninformative-but-still-glowing review of Garden State, or my equally as positive review of Scrubs. With this in mind I had been looking for to The Last Kiss for a while. Especially because it was clearly being marketed as similar to Garden State.
Well, let me say this: while both this film and Garden State are about the uncertainties of growing up that is where their similarities end. If anything, I daresay that The Last Kiss is the antithesis of Garden State.
Garden State is a film where things start complicated and ugly, but resolve into a beautiful state of hope for the future. The Last Kiss starts with hope for the future and rapidly degenerates into a spectacle of the dark side of humanity. If you're looking for an upbeat movie then stay away from this.
For those unfamiliar, the basic plot is that Michael (Braff) and his girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) are expecting a child in the not too distant future. Michael, however, is a commitment-phobe and (although not showing this to his girlfriend) freaks out a bit. With the seductive help of Kim (Rachel Bilson) Michael ends up making some potentially bad decisions.
I don't want to spoil it, but I'm sure you can figure out where it's going. Now, amidst all of this, we're also treated to snippets from the lives of people around the protagonists. Both friends and family members' lives are falling apart and absolutely nothing is working out for anyone.
It's gritty at times, and yet it still manages to be funny when it wants to be. Indeed, The Last Kiss is extremely well written. It's also very well directed - there was one shot where Michael was standing in a small grove of trees wearing a forest green shirt and dark brown khakis. Nothing was actually made out of this chameleon-like attire, but I thought it was a very brilliant little touch.
The acting is also top-notch. People in this movie run the full range of emotion, and it's believable the entire time. The actors really sell the characters, and you end up with an emotional investment that you otherwise would lack. Heck, even the soundtrack is pretty good.
So, with all of these great elements, you'd think I would say I loved this movie. But I didn't. It was a very good movie, to be certain, but I don't even think I liked it. Maybe I'm just not cynical enough, but the moral of this story seems to be that people are terrible, and that we shouldn't set our expectations so high. That life doesn't have happy endings, so be content with a mediocre one.
I don't know about you, but that isn't what I go to the theater to see. Watching The Last Kiss was enjoyable at the time, but it leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth. It's not exactly depressing, but it certainly isn't uplifting. My advice? If you want to see the movie go ahead, but keep Garden State handy to restore your faith in humanity once it's over.
Written by Hyperion, 2006-09-21 20:12:26
IMDb page: The Last Kiss (2006)