No lip service for new Zach Braff dramedy

by Beacon Staff • September 20, 2006

It is most definitely not.

A well-directed film with (mostly) believable characters, The Last Kiss mixes humorous elements (sometimes unintentional) with a serious dramatic side to examine the relationships between men and women approaching the "adult" age of thirty.,At first glance, director Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss (starring Zach Braff, of Garden State and NBC's Scrubs), which is based on the 2001 Italian film L'ultimo bacio, seems like a cutesy romantic comedy.

It is most definitely not.

A well-directed film with (mostly) believable characters, The Last Kiss mixes humorous elements (sometimes unintentional) with a serious dramatic side to examine the relationships between men and women approaching the "adult" age of thirty.

Growing up and facing the rest of your life- and how the characters deal with that-is a major theme running throughout the film.

Braff stars as Michael, an architect who is in a seemingly stable relationship with his girlfriend, Jenna (Jacinda Barrett, of the 2006 Poseidon remake).

Michael seems happy, but is actually bored, and he feels as if the rest of his life is mapped out for him. He watches as his friends' relationships crumble around him: Chris' (Casey Affleck) marriage is falling apart, Jenna's parents experience marital trouble after Jenna's mother (Blythe Danner) has an affair, and Michael's promiscuous friend Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen) is incapable of having an emotional attachment.

When Michael meets a college student, Kim (Rachel Bilson), at a wedding, he is not necessarily attracted to her personality, but rather the adventure she seems to offer; she is young and spontaneous.

Bilson, however, manages to play the exact same character she plays on FOX's The OC-a bubbly, flirty girl who relies more on her looks than her intelligence, and is by far the most annoying character in the film.

Some scenes in the film seem a little clich