L' Ultimo Bacio  (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film has been marketed in English-speaking countries as The Last Kiss and One Last Kiss.

If the official French movie involves a woman in mid-life who is unsatisfied by her boring bourgeois life, the official Italian movie must focus on guys who want to hang with the guys instead of tying themselves down with a wife and babies. It seems like all Movie Italian Guys want to hang out with their friends forever, whether the movie is serious or silly. When you get down to it, even The Godfather is about a bunch of guys who ignore their wives and kids in order to hang out with the guys.

That's basically what The Last Kiss is all about as well, although it is a comedy. Sort of. It's a "late coming-of-age" film about the crisis that men go through when they realize that they are about to say farewell to youth forever. In this case, the lead character finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant, and his life seems to be taking a settled, predicable, boring shape. He's talking about diapers, buying a house, and choosing the wedding caterers, while his friends are planning to back-pack though Africa, or sleeping with a different woman every night, or otherwise holding on to their carefree youth. His hand-wringing is intensified by the fact that his friends have failed in their own attempts to settle with a single woman.

So he does what all men of all races do in such a case.

He heads down to the local Catholic girls' high school, picks up a hot senior, and beds her for hours.

Unfortunately, this does not solve his problem. (Does it ever?) In fact, it makes it worse. (Doesn't it always?).

I liked the film, but I have no special enthusiasm for it. The Italians know how to do this kind of calculated angst-laden tragicomedy, so it's a slick production which got some real critical praises, but before you go out to rent it, be advised:

1. It's in Italian, with sub-titles.

2. There's not enough humor and what there is ... well, it is not handled that deftly.


Ines Nobili exposes her breasts in a sex scene.

Martina Stella keeps her breasts pressed against her lover in a sex scene. A nipple barely escapes.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no features

  • widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1

3. The main characters are jerks.  It's difficult to form an emotional identification with any of them. They are superficial and their problems are the kind that don't evoke sympathy from everyday people. I mean, why are these guys so miserable? They have only the trivial preoccupations of sheltered lives. You know, like a rich guy who thinks, "How do I rid myself of the incredibly gorgeous 18 year old girl who loves me, so I can get back with the incredibly gorgeous twenty-something girl I got pregnant." Oh, spare me such anguish and suffering. The Grapes of Wrath it ain't.

4. Portions are quite sentimental, perhaps even maudlin.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Super-panel consensus: two and a half stars. Ebert 2/4, Owen Glieberman A-.

The People Vote ...

  • It took in a million dollars in the USA in arthouse distribution, maxing out at 31 screens.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. Top of the line Italian import. Appealing but not enough to get a satisfied watch from people who dislike sub-titles.

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