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The Last Kiss - Blu-ray DVD / romantic comedy DVD / drama DVD review
THE LAST KISS Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Featuring: Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Casey Affleck, Rachel Bilson, Blythe Danner, Michael Weston
Director: Tony Goldwyn Studio: Dreamworks Video
DVD release: 14 April 2009 Runtime: 104 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround - English; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround - French, Spanish, German), Subtitles (English SDH, English, Spanish, French, Portugese, German), Audio commentaries (Zach Braff and dir. Tony Goldwyn; Zach Braff, Tony Goldwyn, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Michael Weston, and Eric Christian Olsen), The Last Kiss - Filmmakers' Perspective, The Last Kiss - Getting Together, The Last Kiss - Behind Our Favorite Scenes, The Last Kiss - Last Thoughts, "Ride" music video - Cary Brothers, Deleted scenes, Gag reel

Michael (Zach Braff) is about to turn 30, and he's right where he expected he'd be when he reached this age. He's still best friends with his childhood chums and has a beautiful girl pregnant with his child, though he hasn't gone through with the marriage portion of the plan yet. All these things have converged at once, leaving Michael breathless and off-balance. It's all just too fast.

His friends are an example of many kinds of relationships. Chris (Casey Affleck) is married with a young child, and he's looking to get out of the relationship. Izzy (Michael Weston) has recently been jilted, and he's as vulnerable as a baby sea turtle. Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen) is single and enjoying getting any piece of tail he sets his sights on.

When Michael meets a wild, young, free-spirited girl at a wedding reception, he's tempted to take a look on the outside again before the door of domestic life closes behind him. Kim (Rachel Bilson) is a college student with two years left until graduation. She's pretty, understanding, and curious about Michael, and Michael doesn't dismiss her as he should.

Michael's girlfriend, Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), is happily settling into her life with Michael and their upcoming bundle of joy. Her parents are a model of stability to her and her sole example to Michael of a couple who has lasted more than five years. Jenna's parents, Anna (Blythe Danner) and Stephen (Tom Wilkinson), are actually on pretty shaky ground, though outward appearances don't betray the fact. Anna feels old and unappreciated; Stephen is cruising along status quo. He should respond to Anna's growing insecurity but doesn't for some reason. Jenna's world view is shaken when the cracks begin to show. When Michael starts to investigate his possible feelings for Kim, Jenna's world is rocked even more.

The Last Kiss is an excellent character study of several couples, most of whom represent a cynical perspective on relationships. All performances are solid and quite moving - I really have no complaints there. However, this is the kind of drama that I can only bear to watch once. It is so overpowered by all the arguing and negative elements that I had difficulty enjoying it. It reminds me of a friend I had in junior high school. He always wanted me to go places with him and his dad because he disliked his time with his dad. I always hated being with the two of them because they'd always argue. The Last Kiss is akin to that kind of tension.

Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner are excellent examples of mostly uncelebrated talent. Braff has proven himself as more than a sitcom actor before, and I'm sure he'll do it again. Barrett is wonderful, as well. I remember her from her season on MTV's Real World and am pleasantly surprised to see her holding her own and showing such a brilliant range in this film.

Extras include a music video directed by Braff, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and two commentaries, one by cast and one by director Tony Goldwyn and Braff. The Blu-ray presentation is excellent on the feature, but some of the extras are in a disappointing standard definition.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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