The Last Kiss

Director: Tony Goldwyn

Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis adapted Gabrielle Muccino’s Italian film L’Ultimo Bacio for director Tony Goldwyn in this superb remake that does an admirable job of navigating viewers through the often messy and sometimes brutally painful evolution and deterioration of relationships. While most films focus on the good times, not too many filmmakers are willing to go the distance in revealing the bad as well as the good in modern long-term romantic couplings. In a role that couldn’t be any further from his recurring Scrubs character of John Dorian, Zach Braff is excellent as our uncertain and admittedly selfish lead Michael, who at the start of the film faces three life-altering events—the pregnancy of his long-time girlfriend Jacinda Barrett and the possible commitment issues that go along with it, his thirtieth birthday and the beginning of a casual flirtation with a young college student (Rachel Bilson) that he meets at a wedding that begins to make Michael wonder if he’s really ready to settle down. While the film mostly surrounds Michael and his other equally stressed male friends, all with varying levels of personal crisis of their own, there is a surprisingly riveting subplot involving Blythe Danner as Barrett’s mother who is going through a rough patch in her marriage to Tom Wilkinson after she admits to an infidelity. A wonderful soundtrack helps make the admittedly dark, intense and sometimes just excruciatingly confrontational themes and moments a bit easier to bear although it’s probably not the best choice for a date film or a low-key romantic evening in as this is the type of film that could cause an argument, despite raising some valid, mature, and accurate issues. By the end of the film, even though we’d spent so much time with a majority of the characters over the onscreen events of roughly two weeks, I still found myself feeling a sense of incompletion as, although we fully understand the male characters, it would’ve definitely been interesting if the females had been given more screen time to wholly understand their points-of-view. Note: I'm including the entire soundtrack below as it rivals the excellence of Braff's previous indie blockbuster Garden State for the inclusion of so many inspired musical choices.

From The Last Kiss Soundtrack

“Chocolate” by Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol - Final Straw - Chocolate

“Star Mile” by Joshua Radin
Joshua Radin - We Were Here - Star Mile

“Painkiller” by Turin Brakes
Turin Brakes - Ether Song - Painkiller

“Warning Sign” by Coldplay
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head - Warning Sign

“Ride” by Cary Brothers
Cary Brothers - Waiting for Your Letter - EP - Ride

“El Salvador” by Athlete
Athlete - Vehicles & Animals - El Salvador

“Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap
Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself - Hide and Seek

“Reason Why” by Rachel Yamagata
Rachael Yamagata - The Last Kiss - Reason Why

“Hold You In My Arms” by Ray La Montagne
Ray LaMontagne - The Last Kiss - Hold You In My Arms

“Prophecy” by Remy Zero
Remy Zero - Villa Elaine - Prophecy

“Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple - The Last Kiss - Paper Bag

“Today’s the Day” by Aimee Man
Aimee Mann - The Last Kiss - Today's the Day

“Arms of a Woman” by Amos Lee
Amos Lee - The Last Kiss - Arms of a Woman

“Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Reprise)” by Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright - The Last Kiss - Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Reprise)

“Paperweight” by Joshua Radin and Schuyler Fisk
Joshua Radin & Schuyler Fisk - The Last Kiss - Paperweight