Lights, camera and…The Last Kiss is missing romance

For a girl with only two channels, Friday night TV can be less than riveting, so this Friday night I decided to take myself to the movies. I had a number of choices, but was feeling romantic so I decided to check out a film I had been waiting to see for too long: The Last Kiss, starring Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson, with Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson. I had really enjoyed Zach Braff’s last film, Garden State with Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard, and was anticipating a repeat performance.

I was so wrong. The film felt, endless – and not in a good way. It was boring! The characters were sometimes unbelievable. Except maybe Casey Affleck’s character Chris. Chris was nice, and honest, he was real somehow. A real that the other characters didn’t posess. Braff’s character Michael was immature, ungrateful and at times, charming. Bilson’s character Kim had to be the worst. She played a 20-ish college student who thought she knew more than she did. Which feels like a personal insult. Kim was annoying. Period.

As for the other characters, they seemed to take a backseat. I actually spent time wondering what point was being made by Blythe Danner’s character Anna. She had been married to her husband Stephen (Tom Wilkinson) for thirty years and then after seeing one look between her daughhter, Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) and her boyfriend Michael, questions her own marriage.

Although Danner may have been the bright spot in this film, delivering a powerful mother-daughter performance not once, but twice, when Jenna confronts her about leaving her father. The again, later in the film when jenna and Michael are experiencing difficulties. I suspect Danner has had experience in this area being the mother of actress Gwenyth Paltrow.

Maybe the reason I didn’t enjoy this film was sheer relatability (okay, I made this word up.) I’m not twenty-nine nor am I in a three-year-long relationship. I’m not watching my friends get married, or watching their heart’s break. I’m not watching them have children, or watching their marriages fall apart five months later. I don’t feel like my life is “pretty planned out.” I feel like it’s just beginning.

I just wonder where the idea for this movie came from. I just have to wonder, who read this screenplay and said, “THIS is the movie I want to make!” From Scrubs, to Garden State, and then Chicken Little (questionable), and then a guest appearance on Arrested Development (very cool), but then … The Last Kiss? Maybe Braff is suffering from low self-esteem and felt forced to keep his name alive in Hollywood, maybe he was the last to join the cast. I mean, who can blame him for joining celebs like Blythe Danner, and long-time Teen Queen Rachel Bilson? Perhaps he didn’t even read the screenplay before he signed on.

To console myself for spending $10.95, not to mention the price for popcorn, on a movie I had long been putting off I remind myself, movie intuition … some people have it and some don’t.

I have it, but I let my want for romance overcome my better judgment. My advice, if you’re feeling romantic on a Friday night, rent The Notebook.

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