There are many things I didn’t buy about The Last Kiss. Firstly, the movie would have us believe that Zak Braff’s dopey architect is a wildly desirable man; but he is neither particularly charming nor handsome. (He looks, when shot in profile, like a botched attempt to clone Ben Shenkman.) When Rachel Bilson’s character keeps throwing herself at him, I can only guess it is because she is a big fan of Garden State, a movie about quarter-life crises that at least had some rewarding aspects to it.
Unfortunately, The Last Kiss is unrewardingly depressing. It asks us to like a guy who wants to leave his wife (Casey Affleck), a woman who wants to leave her husband (Blythe Danner), a sex fiend (Eric Christian Olsen), a dope who can’t get over his ex (Michael Weston), and a guy who cheats on his pregnant girlfriend (Braff). As the characters continually sabotaged themselves, my cup of sympathy ran dry.
The filmmakers might have had better luck concentrating on a few storylines, since most of them peter out anyway. The Last Kiss is a Paul Haggis-scripted character fugue, but without the sociopolitical interests of his Academy Awarder Crash. The story is taken from an Italian film I haven’t seen, L’Ultimo Bacio, which I can only presume is better. There seems to be little special about the thin, melodramatic, montage-filled material that comprises the American version. There are no amazing plot twists or stunning revelations of character. Instead, there is only the pleasure of watching some hot, young actors performing with an easy to-the-manner-born style.
Empty calories have their place, but please, no bitter aftertaste.