The catchy pop ballads found on the soundtrack for Tony Goldwyn's
The Last Kiss will break your heart in two. The movie these songs support only wishes it could make such a claim.
Back to the music for a minute. Coldplay, Cary Brothers, Fiona Apple, Snow Patrol, and a smattering of other fashionable artists – each handpicked by leading man Zach Braff
– croon (and sometimes whine) about infidelity, loss, and life-changing mistakes that target the love of your life. Sample lyrics include, "She's moving on… without you." Sentiments rarely deviate from this norm. It's a nice place to wallow on a rainy afternoon. Article continues below
Braff worked similar musical magic for his directorial debut Garden State. His ear for stirring, soulful melodies earned him a Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture Grammy award. But where Braff's Garden mix tape enhanced his quirky and personal little comedy, this new song collection can't lift Goldwyn's somber material from the doldrums.
Kiss remakes L’ultimo bacio, an obscure Italian drama about a twentysomething male who confronts a grass-is-always-greener quandary. Braff plays Michael, a likeable guy tentatively entering adulthood but unwilling to relinquish his adolescent freedom. He starts to question his ready-made future once he learns his girlfriend, Jenna (Jacinda Barrett
), is pregnant. Bigger problems arise when Michael attracts the eye of sexy college minx Kim (worthy temptress Rachel Bilson
), who comes on strong at the wedding reception of a mutual friend.
To have such problems, right? Michael's love triangle seems quaint when compared to the troubles of his friends and family. Jenna's mother (Blythe Danner
) has fallen out of love with her placid but faithful husband (Tom Wilkinson
) and wants to start fresh with someone else. Michael's friends are equally bothered. Chris (Casey Affleck
) can't cope with the demands of being a new father. Izzy (Michael Weston
) pines for his ex (Marley Shelton
) as he contemplates a road trip. And sexual predator Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen
) struggles to remember the names of the girls that parade through his bedroom.
Vastly overrated Oscar-winner Paul Haggis (Crash) pens the Kiss adaptation but doesn't understand these characters, leaving it up to the actors to flesh out their poorly written roles. Haggis wants to bring everything back to Michael, so he half-develops these fringe players and tacks on forced resolutions to conflicts we never once invested in.
The meat of the movie remains with Michael and Jenna, so Braff and Barrett bring boxing gloves. Michael represents a variation of the emotional autopilot that Braff portrayed in Garden State. Where that character drifted through an unsatisfied life hindered by obstacles, this protagonist has disconnected because things are going too well. The actor is mundane when questioning his future and fiery when the film gets around to the inevitable screaming matches between mates.
Things get depressing in Kiss. To its credit, the character arc that Michael and Jenna follow stays brutally honest. It just results in heaps of sadness for them and, in turn, us. At least we have to perfect soundtrack to match our mood.
English Dolby Digital 5.1Video:
Surround Widescreen (2.35:1)
Commentary by Zach Braff and Director Tony Goldwyn
A great track, as the two laugh at their work and their co-workers.
Commentary by Zach Braff, Tony Goldwyn, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Michael Weston and Eric Christian Olsen
A few interesting stories from the cast, but very difficult to follow, as there are way too many people involved.
An introduction by producer Gary Lucchesi, who talks about director Tony Goldwyn, and how the film is a remake of an Italian film "L'Ultimo Bacio." Goldwyn discusses how he loved the script and how real the story is.
A look into how Paul Haggis was brought on to write the screenplay to adapt the Italian film. Each character is dissected and looked into the casting of him/her.
Behind Our Favorite Scenes
The cast and crew discusses which scenes they liked the best in the film.
A look at what everyone's thoughts, and how they relate to the story.
Music Video - Cary Brothers "Ride" performance version with Zach Braff intro
A Braf-directed music video. Nothing special here, very plain.
There are two alternate endings, that do not stand up to the actual one used, and the extended bachelor party scene is extended, that will make all the guys happy. Deleted scenes include: Bachelor Party Extended, The Treehouse Scene Extended, Izzy and Arianna on the Phone, Chris and Lisa Fight in the Kitchen, Kim Chases Michael, Alternate Ending 1, Alternate Ending 2
Not much here, just a few outtakes of the silly cast and crew.
Exactly that, the trailer
Trailers for Dreamgirls, Babel, Jackass: Number 2, World Trade Center and An Inconvenient Truth
Overall, an interested movie, but will not leave an impression on you. It shows you the different perspectives of how people deal with the big life decisions, something we all can relate to. While the DVD gives you a deeper look into the film, there was very little to take away, except for the alternate endings. If you're around 30 years old, this movie might be worth renting.