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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Last Kiss

Posted on Thu, Sep 14, 2006 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
The Last Kiss
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Lakeshore International
Rated: R
Cast: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Tom Wilkinson, Blythe Danner
Director: Tony Goldwyn
WorkNameSort: Last Kiss, The
Our Rating: 2.50
Putatively a romance in which the protagonist (the goggle-eyed blank slate that is Zach Braff) wrestles with the 'crisisâ?� of committing to his longtime love Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) by having one last fling, it's surprising how cynical The Last Kiss is. Relationships are equated to death sentences; 'growing old togetherâ?� is surrendering to despair and distance; and, most notably, 'being right isn't always what's important.â?� The characters in The Last Kiss are as lifeless as they are self-centered (did I mention that Barrett's character is pregnant?), making little of the movie believable and even less of it likable. Even the twitchy, emotion-craving cuckoo that is Jenna's mother (Blythe Danner) ultimately gets put back in her place of WASP-y silence. Gifted-class malaise comes out in The Last Kiss through thoroughly bland characters living thoroughly empty lives in thoroughly generic environs (the set decoration ' Naguib Mahfouz book here, Apple laptop there ' is subtly sinister in its glib 'hipnessâ?�). It all makes for a patently offensive love story, where you root for the guy not to end up with the girl. (R)

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