When you're in your twenties, you feel invincible. Fresh out of school, and with a world of opportunities ahead of you, the general feeling is that nothing can go wrong. At least that's how I felt. And so far, nothing drastic has knocked me off my feet, or grounded my perceived progress to a halt.
That is, until you hit the big three-oh, and start wondering about a whole host of issues, like what you're going to do with your life, are you going to settle down with that someone special if he/she exists, and essentially, what the heck happened in the last 10 years which seem to just whizz by, as if the decade just passed by without any significant milestones. And the male characters in The Last Kiss, are about the same age as I am, and in this story, they take a long hard look and evaluate heir circumstances, albeit all from a relationship point of view.
Adapted from a Spanish movie L'ultimo Bacio with a screenplay by Paul Haggis (who also wrote the screenplays for Casino Royale and Flags of Our Fathers now out in theatres), The Last Kiss stars Zach Braff as Michael, our guy who's stuck at the crossroads of his life. Everything's fine and dandy, great job, hybrid car, and living in with his pregnant girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett). However, that contemplation of life, of what's next, and his disbelief about marriage, has forced him to seriously think about the future. He's unsure, and in his vulnerable state, gets very tempted by a younger, beautiful girl, Kim (Rachel Bilson) when she throws herself at him.
Yes, Rachel Bilson from TV's OC has followed in the footsteps of fellow OC hot babe Mischa Barton, playing yet another sweet nubile temptation in their big screen debut (Barton did her tour in The Oh in Ohio). As the seductress, her character totally loses herself in the company of Michael, and feminists in the audience would roll their eyes and find it hard pressed to find a valid reason to fall for that cad Michael, who is definitely tempted and should have stuck to his guns.
Although the spotlight is definitely centered on this story arc, there are a few others which focus on Michael's friends, all hitting their 30s, and each facing dilemmas in their own right. Chris (Casey Affleck) is not getting along with his wife, who's high strung from taking care of their kid, Izzy (Michael Weston) cannot get over his ex girlfriend, and is actually an obsessive wuss, upset at her ability to move on so easily, and Eric Christian Olsen as Kenny the hipster player who's totally non-committal. Interactions between the guys are limited though, and each potential short story arc brings forth potential unexplored in full.
But perhaps we have to leave it to the older folk to shed some light in this movie. Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson somehow light up the screen with their chemistry, as two elderly married couple who are at odds with each other, because of the lack of some tender loving affection showered upon the other. Harold Ramis makes a surprise appearance, and he's almost ballooned to twice the size since his lean Ghostbusters days.
I'd actually thought I could easily identify with the broad issues faced by the host of characters here, but given it's focus just on relationships, it was a little below expectations. Nonetheless, it's one movie whose themes do set you thinking, especially about the touchy issue on fidelity (hence, who's the recipient of your very last kiss?), and even then it doesn't end by making any bold statements, but it chose to sit on the fence.