The Last Kiss (2001)

"Bad"

The Last Kiss (2001) 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!



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.