The Last Kiss

"Bad"

The Last Kiss Review


Watching The Last Kiss is one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've had in a movie theater since I worked at a multiplex and a girl I had a severe crush in high school saw me in my nerd uniform of a sleeveless sweater and clip-on tie. [Oh Pete, you rake, you! - Ed.]

At least that encounter lasted no more than a minute. For nearly two hours in The Last Kiss, aimless characters bitch, moan, and argue about how their lives stink. Doors are slammed, tears are shed, and immaturity is flaunted about like a homecoming banner. Almost every character deserves to have their head dunked in a bucket of ice water. The number of self-inflected drama fits and crying jags makes this movie feel more like a non-stop cry for attention, than an attempt at any kind of satisfying entertainment.

This Italian drama brings together nearly a dozen characters, most of who are in their late 20s and early 30s. The central couple is Carlo (Stefano Accorsi) and Giulia (the stunning Giovanna Mezzogiorno), who are expecting a baby. Though they've been together for years, the news rearranges Carlo's world and soon he gets his priorities and senses confused by an infatuated high school beauty (Martina Stella).

Meanwhile, Carlo's pack of loser friends has their own set of problems, which makes their plans to leave town and travel the world difficult to carry out. Adriano (Giorgio Pasotti) is falling out of love with his role as wife and new father. Paolo (Claudio Santamaria) wants out of the family business, but he can't confront his dying father or get over his former girlfriend. As for Alberto (Pierfrancesco Favino), he seems content to sleep with an array of beautiful women and smoke enough pot for several Cheech and Chong movies. The older folks have their problems too, specifically Giulia's mother (Stefania Sandrelli) who is jealous of her daughter's looks and of being stuck in what appears to be a boring, passionless marriage.

This is certainly not the first time that a movie has examined domestic misery or young adult ennui. The Last Picture Show, American Beauty, and even the underrated Beautiful Girls come to my mind. But at least those movies clued us into the source of the problem and turned it into something you wanted to watch. Even if you didn't sympathize with Kevin Spacey's last attempt at getting his soul back or Timothy Hutton's near dalliance with Natalie Portman, at least you understood their intentions. You might even have laughed or cheered in the process.

In The Last Kiss, I'm not sure why anything happens. The characters get tossed into their misery with little build-up, and with so many people needing attention, writer/director Gabriele Muccino never gets to the "ah-ha" stage of discovery that this kind of movie needs. Instead, the men mostly come across as jerks and the women either loyally take the abuse or fly off the handle. You never feel involved. Are the characters supposed to be this callow? Is this an examination of marriage and relationships like the recent gems Monsoon Wedding or Late Marriage? Did Carlo, Adriano, and the rest of the gang even talk to their partners (or each other) earlier about the possible problems in taking their relationships to the next level? Are there any marriage counselors in Italy?

Some people like this movie, as it was a big winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival. But here's a telling point. (Spoiler ahead!) At the end, when most of the characters end up doing what they want, I didn't share in that happiness. They hadn't learned enough for them to earn that ending, but instead were rewarded for being selfish morons. Fans might say that the finale is ironic in that freedom and happiness isn't always grabbed by those blessed with humility and generosity. Maybe so, but the lesson doesn't have to be taught in such a grating, annoying manner.

Aka L'Ultimo Bacio.

No smooch for you!



The Last Kiss

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 15th September 2006

Box Office USA: $11.5M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Paramount

Production compaines: Lakeshore Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 58 Rotten: 69

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Michael, as Jenna, as Chris, as Kim, as Izzy, as Kenny, as Arianna, Lauren Lee Smith as Lisa, as Professor Bowler, as Anna, as Stephen, David Jones as Mark, Cindy Sampson as Danielle, Lisa MacKay as Stripper #1, Patricia Stasiak as Stripper #2

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.