I saw The Last Kiss this afternoon. I’m not sure what I expected walking into the film, but what I felt walking out was different.
The basic premise of the film is this: four 29 year old life long friends are going through four very different early age crises. Michael (Zach Braff) and his girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) just found out they’re going to have a baby. Michael has a bit of a freak out and makes a poor decision with a beautiful college co-ed (Rachel Bilson). At the same time, his three friends are all dealing with issues of their own. Chris (Casey Affleck) is in a marriage that sucks and is made worse by he and his wife’s decision to have a baby. Izzy (Michael Weston) got dumped by his girlfriend and he just can’t get over it. Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen) spends his days in a bar and his nights with beautiful women, trying to stay as far away from commitment as he can.
Intertwined with the emotional challenges facing these guys is a weird relationship between Jenna’s parents (Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson). Danner spends a lot of time staring into the mirror, crying, and then putting it all back together. Wilkinson doesn’t spend much time doing anything at all. We don’t really know why they have the problems they do.
For the first half hour, I thought I was watching the sequel to Garden State. Maybe it’s because Izzy and Michael were both in Garden State (and I kept seeing Weston’s character in that film on the screen). I say that also because I liked Garden State and I could identify with it and the characters in this film face the same challenges the guys in Garden State faced. Although this time there are more girls, babies and many more mistakes.
While there are parts of it that are uneven and things happen a little too fast (and too easily), if we’re judging a film on its ability to be honest with itself and its characters, it’s a good film and worth seeing.