The Last Kiss (2006) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

It's interesting to read the reviews of this movie which were written by people who had previously seen the original Italian version. They were divided between those who said, "This film takes a silly Italian fluff comedy and makes it something profound," and those who said that the American version lost everything that was good about the original. All of which goes to prove Scoopy's Prime Theorem, which states that no matter how ridiculous an opinion seems to you, somebody holds it. To validate the theorem, pick a film that you completely despise. Not one that you're lukewarm about, but one that was just laughably bad. Then check out its "user comments" at IMDb, and find that several commenters will praise it for some reason or another. Indeed, the very definition of a cult film is "one that not many people will like, but those who do like it adore it, for reasons which mystify the vast majority of us."

I suppose all of that is largely irrelevant to my comments here, since I don't really remember "L'ultimo bacio," the Italian film upon which this one is based, even though I just read my own review of it. To me The Last Kiss seems like a pretty routine Gex-X romantic dramedy about that stage of life that most people of both genders go through when their youth is over, but they're not yet ready to assume adult responsibilities. The stage often comes with a fear of commitment, since the very nature of a commitment involves sort of a final admission that one is no longer young and irresponsible. In this version of the story, Zach Braff plays a guy whose life has turned out just about perfect. His girlfriend is gorgeous and "one of the guys." His job as a young architect reflects exactly where he wanted to be in life, and he's movin' on up in the profession. He has good friends.

But his girlfriend is pregnant - and that seems so ... final. So committed.

At a friend's wedding he finds that a beautiful college junior is totally into him and, given his current state of mind, he eventually gives in to her advances. He really likes her and has a great night with her, but when it is over he realizes that he has really screwed up. On the one hand he's allowed the college girl to think they have something great, and on the other hand he's ruined the perfect relationship he had with his significant other.

The essence of the movie's denouement involves whether or not he can fix things, and if so, how.

I learned something very important from this movie: I was born too soon. Here's how things work in Generation X: you fool around, your girlfriend catches you, you whine and snivel, and she takes you back. Bottom line: you should cheat, because then you get to have the steady relationship with a woman who is a good friend, but you also get to sample that college poontang knowing that you can beg your way back into your regular relationship.

Man, you kids today have it good with your forgiving girlfriends and your computers, and your internets and your April-fresh Downy. In my day, girlfriends wouldn't take you back when the whole world knew that you were fuckin' a hot chick on the side, and we had to do our term papers with chisels on stone tablets, and our Downy was never any fresher than St. Patrick's Day. You guys have it all.

Plus you have, as the official voice of your generation, Zach Braff. Although one reviewer pointed out that if this is true, then your generation's voice is awfully squeaky and whiny. Point scored. I don't see a future for Zach in Spaghetti Westerns as the new Eastwood.

Actually, it's an OK movie despite a surfeit of navel-gazing. I guess that means I'm the only reviewer who thought that both this and the Italian original were both OK but nothing special. The American version manages to succeed fairly well by walking a tightrope between drama and comedy. Measured solely as a comedy, it's not a zany laughfest. Measured solely as a drama, it's not very profound and it's not very moving, which is a bit of a disappointment because it was written the the author of Crash. But it works ah-ight as a talky, character-based romance which comes much closer to real life than most Hollywood romances. Despite what I wrote above, it manages to zero in fairly well on feelings which are common to young adults of every generation. I was kidding above when I implied that it's just about today's yuppies - I went through a very similar situation when my first wife was pregnant with our first child. And let's face it, the symbolic voices of my generation (John Lennon, Paul Simon) weren't so very macho either. If you pop The Graduate, my generation's equivalent of this film, into your DVD player, you'll probably realize that Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin looks and talks like a shorter version of Zach Braff.

And the film has some nice nudity, especially in the deleted scenes. Whether you like the movie or not - and critics were really split on this on - you have to admit that the creative team did a great job on the DVD. It is filled with extra features: commentary, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, "making of" featurettes, a rock video, and so forth. Of special interest to those of us who look for the nude scenes, there is a hot and funny extended version of the bachelor party scene, and there is another scene which offers a brief flash of  breastitude from Marley Shelton, who was not naked in the film proper.



  • Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35
  • Features detailed above in main commentary


  • Rachel Bilson - brief topless in the dark (reported pasties

  • Marley Shelton - brief left breast (deleted scenes only)

  • Lisa Mackay and Patricia Stasiak - breasts and bethonged butts. (Rear exposure only in deleted scenes.)

  • Cindy Sampson - breasts and an-ever-so-brief shot of pubes.

Spaz's comments

Scoop's preface: the film's two strippers are Canadians, and my super powers do not extend there. Canada is to me as yellow is to Green Lantern. We therefore have to seek the assistance of another member of the Justice League, just as Green Lantern often did when he battled Banana Man and The Canary. Bailing us out today is Spaz, master of the frozen north, who had this to say about the DVD:


"They spelled Lisa Mackay's name wrong in the credits. It's not Lisa 'Mackey.' Some sources have her as Lisa MacKay. Anyway, she posed for a few Hefmag "newsstand specials."

  • More info here:

As for the other stripper, Patricia Stasiak, she scandalized McGill university by posing for a Hefmag college girl shoot (plus later showing the full beaver as a Hefmag cybergirl). She also worked for a sex cam network."


The Critics Vote ...

  • British consensus: one and a half stars out of four. Mail 4/10, Telegraph 2/10, Independent 4/10, Guardian 2/10, Times 4/10, Sun 5/10, Express 4/10, Mirror 6/10, BBC 3/5. They generally hated it. Sample comment: "A terrible movie populated by people who look human but are actually androids mouthing romcom dialogue."


The People Vote ...

  • Box Office Mojo. It grossed $11.6 million in mid-level distribution (1300 theaters.) It opened the same week as three other new releases and finished last among the four. The production budget was about $20 million.
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.

Our 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. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. 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-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • 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.


Based on this description, this film is a C. It is a solid movie which pleased many critics and attracted some admirers.

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