"The Last Kiss" is a can't-miss

Sept. 21, 2006, midnight | By Elsi Wu | 17 years, 2 months ago

Innovative film delivers gut-wrenching realness

Almost everyone has been in love, and fallen out of it. It just all depends on how hard one falls. Surprisingly, there are more ways of hitting rock bottom than most have imagined: infidelity, neglect and strife, and that's just after hitting 30. In this major motion picture just oozing with indie vibes, love is about more than just feelings.

Although the film's title and cast may suggest another cute, tugs-at-the-heartstrings romantic comedy, the assumption could not be more wrong. On the contrary, this film is a gritty representation of relationships, both how they form and fall apart (and sometimes erupt in an angry jumble).

The film follows the entire cast of characters through their separate "love stories," mainly focusing on Zach Braff's character and his tight-knit group of friends. Braff plays Michael, a 29-year-old architect, living the life he had always imagined: a great job, still friends with his childhood buddies, and expecting a child with Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), his gorgeous girlfriend of three years. Everyone thinks that the pair is perfect for each other, which holds true until Michael's fears are propelled by the prospect that his life is devoid of any new surprises.

As this prospect develops from a concern to a full-blown crisis, Michael is tempted by the company of a young, bright-eyed music student, Kim (Rachel Bilson). Meanwhile, his close buddies Chris (Casey Affleck), Izzy (Michael Weston), and Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen), face their own love crises, including a broken marriage, a lost love and a realization that there is no such thing as unattached intimacy.

The film was perfectly cast, and with the exception of Rachel Bilson, who ultimately extended her role of Summer from Fox's The O.C. onto the big-screen, all of the performances were refreshingly strong and original. Braff strayed from his usual lovable hero role and instead actually committed serious errors (gasp!), and for once was easy to hate. The best performance in the film was by Barrett, who evoked so much emotion through her genuine portrayal of hurt and anger. The sheer realism was due in large part to the actors' amazing performances.

Undoubtedly a serious drama, the film also has a dry humor that's hilarious in its own right. Enhanced by editing and cinematography, the laughs are subtle but still witty and original.

Another highlight to the film is the incredible soundtrack. Rivaled only by those of upbeat dance films, the music paired with the movie was compelling enough for even the least musical audience. The film features tracks from Snow Patrol, Imogen Heap, and Coldplay, all of which fit perfectly into the film's mood and message.

"The Last Kiss" is an excellent film and relatable on so many levels from mature teens to senior citizens. The film doesn't put up fronts, takes no shortcuts, and tells no lies. It just shows people for who they are: blinded by love, lust, and a longing for something more.

"The Last Kiss" (115 minutes) is rated R for sexuality, nudity, and language.

Elsi Wu. Elsi Wu is really a middle-aged, obese Italian man. A perky CAP junior who lives for ESPN, Superbowl Sunday, Poms, and food, she watches Friends and Oprah RELIGIOUSLY along with any Redskins/Maryland games (you know, normal activities for the average obese Italian man). Instead of … More »

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