Media Maven: “The Last Kiss” Movie Review

Media Maven: “The Last Kiss” Movie Review

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The Last Kiss
Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson

What was the significance of the title of the movie, The Last Kiss? The Kiss of Death? The Last Kiss of Freedom? People making commitments and then “Kissing their lives away” because entering into the institution of marriage is a sentence of downhill drudgery? Think again. In fact, rent this movie to see for yourself if it presented a biased view of the downfall of rendering one’s life freely to another.

The Last Kiss is a film where the lead character and girlfriend have been together for three years. Life and love is good. Circumstances force them to consider the next step of their relationship. Then a showcase of clichéd stereotypical couples fills the interim of this movie.

"The Last Kiss" is another benchmark in Zach Braff’s film career. It also was Rachel Bilson’s film debut. There are no problems with the charming Zach Braff playing the cad protagonist. He does his job very well. And Rachel Bilson as the younger temptress is believable. Jacinda Barrett as the spurned lover is painfully convincing. Women would most certainly empathize with her character.

Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson are the seasoned actors who represent the “standard, boring, sexless” characterization of a dead marriage. How unfortunate in this movie that for all its effort in telling a story about choices and commitments, it failed to balance or even validate that there do, in fact, exist some real life “standard, still-copulating-and-enjoying-it, monogamous” vibrant marriages.

Rachel Bilson’s character points out that “Marriage as an institution was formed when the expected life span for an adult was thirty years.” Okay, its common knowledge that marriages often outlive the zest, the desire, the commitment it takes to keep it fresh and engaging. We get that marriage is supposed to be forever and forever can be a looooooong time if spent with someone who has given up on the other person or perhaps even themselves.

Yet, if a movie is going to invite us to think about those human fears and dilemmas that force us to be frail, to be vulnerable; shouldn’t it at the very least offer one example of a successful union?

Let’s not confuse the issue here. Or make this a commentary on the pros and cons of marriage. Marriage and commitment are hard. People make choices every day as to whether they will recommit anew or settle for complacency or chuck it all together.

The title "The Last Kiss" in this movie refers to Braff’s one last chance at spontaneity and excitement before he makes a lifelong commitment. Why can’t there still be spontaneity and excitement in a long term relationship? How sad for Braff’s character to think that there is only one last kiss left and the rest of life is so predictable.