Plot: What’s it about?
Michael (Zach Braff) is only twenty-nine, too young for a mid life crisis, but he is at a crossroads of sorts, as real life looms ahead. The prospect of turning thirty has him on edge a little, but when his girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) announces she is pregnant, he goes off the deep end. His life is soon to be confined, with a wife, child, and years and years of responsibility ahead of him. After all, how much can life offer him when he is tied down and left with minimal options. Not just that, but all of his friends seem to be in crisis also, dealing with the fallout from bad relationships and the like. One friend had his romance all but stomped out by a new baby, while the only seemingly happy friend is the one who partakes only in one night stands. Michael sees a future of indifference if his marriage manages to last the test of time and if it doesn’t, then who knows what emotional trials and tribulations lurk down the road. But then he meets Kim (Rachel Bilson), a fun and free spirited woman who gives him new hope for life. Although he knows to explore with Kim is certain to complicate things, he pushes on, but at what cost?
A remake of the Italian film of the same title, The Last Kiss is all about adulthood. Not the kind of adulthood that comes when we move out of our parents’ home either, but the kind of adulthood where options narrow and our lives run a more defined path. The burden of impending fate, as youth slips by and routine settles in, marriage and parenthood soon to follow. In other words, a door closes that often never opens again, different people react different ways to that situation. All too often, movies present us with characters who react in wonderful ways, but not believable ways. The Last Kiss is quite believable, even if not likable and while I didn’t get into the movie, I was glad to see a more realistic approach. I was able to relate to the material and that is rare these days, so in that regard, I commend the filmmakers. As far as entertainment, the movie is inconsistent and never that remarkable, just a decent, but forgettable picture. The cast is well chosen and performs up to snuff, but the material trails off and just never clicks on the whole. But if you’re in the mood for a more grounded experience, then by all means, give The Last Kiss a rental.
Video: How does it look?
The Last Kiss is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. As usual with their releases, Dreamworks delivers a terrific visual presentation. I found this transfer to be on the dark side at times, but aside from that, this is a superb looking image at all times. The colors look bold, flesh tones are natural, and except for a few scenes, the contrast is level and well defined. Some small problems pull the score down a shade, but this should please fans of the flick.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc uses a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but since this is a dialogue driven picture, the surrounds won’t pulse off the walls, by any means. Some surround use is evident with the musical soundtrack, but aside from that, this mix is handled by the front channels and handled well at that. A couple instances of impact sound effects do surface, but most are simple background noise and don’t cause much dynamic presence. The main focus here is the dialogue, which sounds excellent at all times and never falters in the least. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, a French language track, and subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You can listen to a double shot of audio comments from director Tony Goldwyn and star Zach Braff, once by themselves and a second time joined by several other cast members. The second track is more talkative, but also more crowded, so focus isn’t there. The first track has more focus, so more insight is shared, though the other track has more entertainment value. This disc also includes some outtakes, deleted scenes, a group of shameless promotional featurettes, and the film’s theatrical trailer.