Boy, was I disappointed.
I guess I shouldn’t have been holding my breath – Braff didn’t write “The Last Kiss” (he did write “Garden State”) he just acted in it. His acting was good but the story went all wrong. In thinking about the movie, I finally put my finger on what was missing: the writers missed the point of their own story and therefore missed the opportunity to make it really good.
The movie is about four guy friends who are about to turn 30 and are dealing with that “crisis” in different but equally immature, self-centered, and pathetic ways.
Did I mention that I think whining about having to be an adult when you’re THIRTY years old is immature, self-centered, and pathetic? OK, just wanted to be clear. 🙂
The writers correctly diagnose a problem of our generation, which is that we are selfish and want to have our cake and eat it too. However, it’s one thing to struggle with being selfish and self-centered and immature and hurting people for no reason when you are 19, and it’s another thing to still be struggling with teenage angst when you are 29. The characters in this movie all act like it’s a huge injustice that they are being forced to grow up and face the consequences of their actions now that they are almost 30. Seriously?!?! Instead of pointing out that the characters were making all the wrong choices because of their selfishness and immaturity, the writers seemed to conclude that life is hard and so the characters had no choice but to act the way they did. Wrong.
What the movie needed but failed to deliver was a redemptive smack upside the head. The writers attempted to insert something like that in the pregnant girlfriend’s father telling the boyfriend that doing whatever you want because you want to is NOT OKAY because it hurts the people you supposedly love. The movie would have benefitted if one of the guys told his friends that same thing because it would have resonated more than some older peripheral character saying it.
I should also add that another reason to skip this movie is the gratuitously explicit sex scenes which don’t in any way add to the movie, but are all the more jarring for how they don’t fit the story. You can fast forward like we did, but still.
Instead, save yourself the mental anguish of this bad movie and just listen to the soundtrack. You can listen to clips here (scroll down the page for clips). Zach Braff compiled the soundtrack and it’s good like Garden State’s was. I especially like “Chocolate” by Snow Patrol, “Warning Sign” by Coldplay, and “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap.