It's interesting to read the reviews of this movie which were
written by people who had previously seen the original Italian version. They
were divided between those who said, "This film takes a silly Italian fluff
comedy and makes it something profound," and those who said that the American
version lost everything that was good about the original. All of which goes to
prove Scoopy's Prime Theorem, which states that no matter how ridiculous an
opinion seems to you, somebody holds it. To validate the theorem, pick a film
that you completely despise. Not one that you're lukewarm about, but one that
was just laughably bad. Then check out its "user comments" at IMDb, and find
that several commenters will praise it for some reason or another. Indeed, they
very definition of a cult film is "one that not many people will like, but those
who do like it adore it, for reasons which mystify the vast majority of us."
I suppose all of that is largely irrelevant to my comments here,
since I don't really remember "L'ultimo bacio," the Italian film upon which this one is
based, even though I just read
my own review of it. To me The Last Kiss seems like a pretty routine Gex-X romantic dramedy about
that stage of life that most people of both genders go through when their youth
is over, but they're not yet ready to assume adult responsibilities. The stage
often comes with a fear of commitment, since the very nature of a commitment
involves sort of a final admission that one is no longer young and
irresponsible. In this version of the story, Zach Braff plays a guy whose life has
turned out just about perfect. His girlfriend is gorgeous and "one of the guys."
His job as a young architect reflects exactly where he wanted to be in life, and
he's movin' on up in the profession. He has good friends.
But his girlfriend is pregnant - and that seems so ... final. So
At a friend's wedding he finds that a beautiful college junior is totally
into him and, given his current state of mind, he eventually gives in to her advances. He really likes her and has
a great night with her, but when it is over he realizes that he has really
screwed up. On the one hand he's allowed the college girl to think they have something great,
and on the other hand he's ruined the perfect relationship he had with his significant other.
The essence of the movie's denouement involves whether or not he
can fix things, and if so, how.
I learned something very important from this movie. I was born
too soon. Here's how things work in Generation X: you fool around, your
girlfriend catches you, you whine and snivel, and she takes you back. Bottom
line: you should cheat, because then you get to have the steady relationship
with a woman who is a good friend, but you also get to sample that college
poontang knowing that you can beg your way back into your regular relationship.
Man, you kids today have it good with your forgiving girlfriends
and your computers, and your internets and your April-fresh Downy. In my day,
girlfriends wouldn't take you back when the whole world knew that you were fuckin' a hot chick on the side, and we had to do our term papers with chisels
on stone tablets, and our Downy was never any fresher than St. Patrick's Day.
You guys have it all.
Plus you have, as the official voice of your generation, Zach
Braff. One reviewer pointed out that if this is true, then that generation's
voice is awfully squeaky and whiny. Point taken. I don't see a future for Zach
in Spaghetti Westerns as the new Eastwood.
Actually, it's an OK movie despite a surfeit of navel-gazing. It manages to succeed fairly well by
walking a tightrope between drama and comedy. Measured solely as a comedy,
it's not a zany laughfest. Measured solely as a drama, it's not very profound
and it's not very moving, which is a bit of a disappointment because it was
written the the author of Crash. But it works ah-ight as a talky,
character-based romance which comes much closer to real life than most Hollywood
romances. Despite what I wrote above, it manages to zero in fairly well on
feelings which are common to young adults of every generation. I was kidding
above when I implied that it's just about today's yuppies - I went through a
very similar situation when my first wife was pregnant with our first child. And
let's face it, the symbolic voices of my generation (John Lennon, Paul Simon) weren't so very macho either.
If you pop The Graduate, my generation's equivalent of this film, into your DVD
player, you'll probably realize that Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin looks and talks like a
shorter version of Zach Braff.
And the film has some nice nudity, especially in the deleted
scenes. Whether you like the movie or not - and critics were really split on
this on - you have to admit that the creative team did a great job on the
DVD. It is filled with extra features: commentary, deleted scenes, a blooper
reel, "making of" featurettes, a rock video, and so forth. Of special interest
to those of us who look for the nude scenes, there is a hot and funny extended
version of the bachelor party scene, and a brief flash of breastitude from
Marley Shelton, who was not naked in the film proper.
The two strippers are Canadians, and my superpowers do not
extend there. Canada is to me as yellow is to Green Lantern. We therefore have
to seek the assistance of another member of the Justice League, Spaz, master of the
frozen north, who had this to say about the DVD:
"They spelled Lisa Mackay's name wrong in the credits. It's not
Lisa 'Mackey.' Some sources have her as Lisa MacKay. Anyway, she posed for a few Hefmag "newsstand specials."
As for the other stripper Patricia Stasiak, she scandalized McGill
by posing for a Hefmag college girl shoot (plus later showing the full
as a Hefmag cybergirl). She also worked for a sex cam network."