The Last Kiss Tony Goldwyn

Compared to the wacky world he dwells in on Scrubs, Zach Braff is choosing to live his silver screen life as a man succumbing to brutal reality checks. Maybe he feels it’s the best way to leave his sitcom self behind, but two heavy, woeful dramas (Garden State being the first) in a row make it seem like he’s suffering from a mid-life crisis at 30. His character, Michael, certainly is, as are his best mates, who all struggle to overcome personal catastrophes. Based on 2001’s L’ultimo Bacio, The Last Kiss is a grown-up nightmare — the realisation that youth is passing you by and you’re not prepared to accept it. When Michael discovers he’s about to become a daddy with girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), he quickly stumbles in accepting responsibility and falls for the ultimate temptation: a young college student, Kim (Rachel Bilson), who propositions him for a date. Searching for an escape, Michael suffers the consequences of "one last fling.” Though it appears to share the same emotional swings and pose similar questions as Garden State, The Last Kiss approaches crises without any reckoning. They’re issues any 30-something can relate to but Goldwyn and writer Paul Haggis present them like self-redemption is the only answer, and that it’s as easy as that. Using an older couple (Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson) to show that it’s not just turning 30 that makes you question everything is purely a waste of talent, as the two respected actors are only utilised as walking examples of what not to do. Two alternate endings provide some insight into Michael’s future, with conventional Hollywood conclusions showing him enjoying his baby daughter as he delivers the clichéd Scrubs-like voiceovers. It’s stomach turning to watch them but those who find the original ending too futile may find them a little more redeeming. The group commentary, featuring Goldwyn and cast, is either too busy or vacant to withstand — when one person talks they all try to talk and when they don’t you can hear a pin drop. Braff and Goldwyn on their own are much more effective, impersonating cast members, poking fun at themselves and even explaining some of the film, but it still fails to improve matters. Goldwyn explains how important it was to avoid making this a one-dimensional film in a featurette, but unfortunately there’s little evidence here to prove his intentions were achieved. Plus: music video, trailer. (DreamWorks)