The Last Kiss (Goldwyn, 2006)

Seems to be the evil, bland sister film of Braff’s own magnificent directing effort Garden State, attempting to deal with the themes of growing up, trust, and fear, but without any of the wit, soul, or depth. The Last Kiss, a melodramatic monster to the core, simplistically nags and nags at the heartstrings of the viewer to the point of delirium, exuding countless scenes of passive aggressive arguing, pandering, leading to plain old aggressive arguing and pandering. This is the Paul Haggis script everyone should be pointing to as his prime example of TV soap opera’s gone horribly dull. Each character exists primarily as a contrived double for the other. Hey look everyone, no matter how old or young, we’re going through the same angst ridden white crisis. The actors have very little say in the matter due to the screenplay’s strangle hold on pacing and structure. It’s obvious Haggis wants to connect these people in humane ways, exuding life lessons as usual. But Braff and the rest of the talented cast have little say in how obvious or tedious these characters end up becoming.

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