Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27th Log

2006, Tony Goldwyn, United States
Repeat Viewing, HBO

I was not a really big fan of the 2001 Italian film The Last Kiss so my expectation for this American remake was not so high. However, here is a rare remake that surpasses it's original in every way (except for not being the original). Credit to Paul Haggis whose screenplay, under the direction of Tony Goldwyn, re-imagined the film into something that is much more moving and a whole lot more intelligent and mature. Haggis avoids the peachiness he instilled on his audiences with Crash and shows the skill he has in writing (let's not forget he also wrote Million Dollar Baby which is the best script and ultimately best film Clint Eastwood ever made). There is a great sense of characterization and the film finds the very truth of their behaviors and decisions, such as the way the young girl asks why men always leave her and say it is not her (which tells you all you need to know the guy and especially about her). The ensemble cast is all very strong (I'm unfamiliar with Rachel Bilson but she has a truthful charm, and though Zach Braff always seems dull on screen he still works as the 29 year old who is afraid of entering "the predictability" of adulthood with his pregnant girlfriend). The emotional key here is the parents of the girlfriend (outstandingly played by the always reliable Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner). In them the film finds a great balance of the relationships and painful struggle within. The Last Kiss finds a truth of human behavior in this balance and in these characters. This film was a pleasant surprise and I've renewed support for Haggis.


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