17 September 2006

Review: The Last Kiss

Genre: Drama / Romance

Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss marks Paul Haggis' latest attempt at writing a meaningful screenplay. Considering the attempt's result, I think he has obviously and yet again failed miserably. Dialogue is awkward, reality is at many points inconceivable, the entire thing is unbalanced, and gratuitous nudity - how much does one really need? Thus, it is now the unswerving opinion of myself (and likely many others) that the ability, purported of Mr. Haggis, to deftly stroke by pen the intricacies of humanity is itself a fiction, through and through. And a counterargument, that the flaws of the screenplay enhance the uncertain nature of the characters and the story, is just compensatory and ludicrous. The rambling scenes that appear mired in (purposeful?) confusion inarguably lack luster; the other scenes, fraught with a dangerous level of acuity in dialogue, blanche the film with an in-your-face clarity that is as contrived as are the supposedly realistic lives of the script's characters. (Mr. Goldwyn's mediocre direction does little to help this fact.)
Indeed, the only redeeming and interesting parts of this film were those parts played by Zach Braff, Blythe Danner, and (occasionally) Jacinda Barrett. Ms. Barrett, while being for much of the beginning of the film a (too) dull figure, emerges from this stupour later, to deliver wonderfully gutturally an otherwise hackneyed line in a key argument scene as well as to bring elsewhere much needed life into her character, though such life does continue to be dappled in its brilliance. As for Ms. Danner, the subtleties in her crafting of her small, yet evidently supporting, part exemplify her as a gifted actress, and I am sorry for that her talents had to be wasted by this bizarrely written screenplay. The same praise could well be said for Mr. Braff and, in addition, that one hopes that he, due to role he played and to the deservedly wild acclaim the role him garnered as progenitour of the marvelous Garden State, not be typecast into characters of this now popular nature (e. g., of late-youthful malaise and uncertainty, of emotional incongruities). Mr. Braff, I eagerly await the next film you yourself helm.
The Last Kiss, however, I could have done without.

Grade: C

Post a Comment