Love stories are usually really sappy and full of all kinds of heartfelt emotions that make women swoon and men cry. Other times we have love stories that throw a bit of funny business into the plot so we can end up with a romantic comedy that will draw in the women still and even get the occasional guy to check it out without being coerced. Then there are those love stories that make their way onto film and end up being some of the strangest things you’ll ever see because they are supposed to be about wonderful moments but end up being about making all the wrong choices in life and sometimes just finding dumb luck. Welcome to everything that is The Last Kiss.
Michael is just on the verge of exiting his twenties and venturing into the life of his thirties, which doesn’t appeal to him all that much. While his sadness about his departing twenties overwhelms him; he also has to deal with the recent news that his girlfriend Jenna is now pregnant. Up until this point their relationship had been everything leading straight up to perfect but now a bit of a monkey wrench has been thrown into the mix. Soon Michael starts seeing tons of other signs that his relationship may not be all he thought it was and that most relationships just don’t end up working anyway so how can he even begin to think of something like marriage?
Looking at his friend Chris as an example, Michael doesn’t see much hope as Chris and Lisa’s relationship isn’t the greatest thing in the world. Making matters worse is their unhappiness and the fact that they already have a child. Kenny is happy but that’s because he has avoided all serious relationships by doing nothing but the one-night stand routine. Michael’s other friend Izzy is just in total shambles because his girlfriend recently dumped him. As all this goes on, Jenna’s parents have been married for thirty long years but now see their marriage falling apart and going to nothing. How can Michael think that his relationship with Jenna can continue if all he is presented with is evidence that his closet friends can’t make anything work? And if he doesn’t stay with her; what becomes of their baby? Maybe someone different is just what the doctor ordered for Michael.
The Last Kiss is aimed at making everyone think more about their relationships and put everything into perspective if they’ve got a good thing going on. Don’t take anything for granted if your life is really great and you’ve got the right person at your side. Sure that seems fine and dandy, but The Last Kiss ends up telling you this in a not so subtle way and just hopes you can figure it out. Love stories often get too mushy for me although I can enjoy a good romance as good as the next person if it doesn’t push the limits or go too far over the top. What was hard for me to stomach with this film is that it pushed failure in my face and got annoying very quickly. There were funny moments thrown in here and there along with some knowledgeable tips for maintaining the happiness as a couple. But my God I just couldn’t take it anymore when all we’re presented with is how bad things can be for everyone that doesn’t the exact right decision every time.
The Last Kiss is shown in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and it looks really good. Colors are overly bright without ever hurting the eyes and have a crispness about them that makes you feel as if you could reach right out and grab them. The film is quite beautiful and does a wonderful job of making it feel as if you are right there involved with all going on.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and while it is a mostly dialogue driven film; the surrounding speakers are put to good use not only with music but with sound effects. Numerous scenes take place outdoors and there are some wonderful, yet subtle, sound effects of birds or winds rustling through leaves that make everything seem even more real.
Audio Commentaries – The first commentary track consists of Zach Braff and Tony Goldwyn making for a fun and easy-going conversation that delves deep into every aspect of the film-making process. Both men go into the casting for different roles, shooting locations, and even promoting the film. It is rather insightful, but can end up getting kind of dull at times.
Track number two puts together Rachel Bilson, Jacinda Barrett, Michael Weston, and Eric Christian Olson in the same room with Goldwyn and it is actually a lot more fun. It is playful and extremely funny at times that I found myself totally not paying attention to the film but only to what everyone was talking about. They discuss having fun with one another on the set and just enjoying different scenes they filmed. If you want to watch the film a second time through with commentary then I highly recommend you check out this one first. Watching the track with Goldwyn and Braff first will kind of tire you out and make you just done with this disc.
Deleted Scenes – A handful of deleted scenes are thrown in here with nothing much more that could have added to the film. Two alternate endings are also included here and luckily they didn’t make it into the finished feature.
Cary Brothers’ “Ride” Music Video
The Last Kiss – Behind Our Favorite Scenes – The director and the cast each pick their favorite scenes and discuss why they are so. Not a bad little feature although quite short and not much is given into exactly why they chose each scene. (8:27)
Gag Reel – Some funny business on the set which, like most other gag reels, usually ends with the whole feeling of “guess you had to be there.” (2:44)
Filmmaker’s Perspective – Tony Goldwyn and Gary Lucchesi discuss everything that went into the film from the time frame, the Italian roots of the story, and putting together the cast and filming locations. Nothing much to see or hear here. (2:33)
Getting Together – Sure this is the longest feature and more so a “making of” featurette then anything; it’s rather annoying. The cast and crew talk about the film and their work in it, but mostly end up praising the filmmaking and their own performances. This is boring. (26:43)
Last Thoughts – The cast and crew end things by pretty much telling you what you should think or get out of the film. Thanks a lot but I watched it. (3:29)
After doing a bit of research on the internet once my review was completed, it appears as if I am in the minority when it comes to my opinions on The Last Kiss because I didn’t love it. The story is cute and there is a little humor sprinkled throughout, but it’s really nothing to get overly excited about especially with so much damn drama going on. Dramas are great don’t get me wrong, but the drama llama showing its ugly head that much just makes me have a migraine and there’s only so much more I can take of it. Seeing Zach Braff in such a serious role too just got really annoying because he didn’t seem to fit; yet I’m one of those that absolutely loves Garden State. Go figure. The special features are middle of the line decent with nothing to hate and nothing to get overly excited about. My advice is to try a rental here because you may end up being in the majority of those who seemingly loved it, but if too much drama or failure isn’t your bag then chances are you’ll toss the disc through the window.
DreamWorks presents The Last Kiss. Directed by: Tony Goldwyn. Starring: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson, Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson. Written by: Gabrielle Muccino & Paul Haggis. Running time: 103 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: April 14, 2009. Available at Amazon.com