L’ultimo Bacio (The Last Kiss ) is an Italian movie that made it to the US and is relatively well known to people who enjoy the genre. I don’t, but that’s OK, I don’t have to love every movie that Italians make. When I tell people I love Italian movies they always get a big smile and say, “L’ultimo Bacio! Did you like that one?” And I say, “Yes”, because I don’t want to seem like a curmudgeon. And I didn’t really super hate it when I first saw it. For me, it might have been just another fluff movie I could throw in with the hundreds (thousands? ) of stupid American fluff movies I’ve made the mistake of watching (Like The Proposal. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Hot Tub Time Machine. Should I go on? ) But the more I think about it, the more I want to blame L’ultimo Bacio for all the problems of the Italian film industry. If this is what is getting the good reviews – if this is what is being distributed outside of Italy – then it’s no wonder everyone thinks that Italy can’t make a good movie anymore.
L’ultimo Bacio tried to be everything at once – a romance, a buddy movie, a coming of age story,and a movie with social commentary. Instead of doing any of those things well, it’s just a mess, with confusing story lines and too many characters to keep track of. This movie is mostly about relationships and I have never seen a movie with so many bad ones.
One of the negative reviews I read had one of those “wish I’d said that” lines – Josh Larsen from the Chicago Sun Times said, “Girlfriends are bad, wives are worse and babies are the kiss of death in this bitter Italian comedy.” Yikes! The whole thing made me tired just watching it!
None of the characters were sympathetic – I wanted to jump into the screen and pick fights with all of them.The only one I felt sorry for is Giulia, played by the otherwise wonderful actor Giovanna Mezzogiorno. Hey Giulia, your mother is giving you horrible advice. She’s your mother and I know she loves you and everything, but a woman who has a love life like hers is in no position to be giving relationship tips. Let me help. Your boyfriend (played by the bellissimo Stefano Accorsi) is an immature loser with immature loser friends who couldn’t handle your pregnancy so he went out and hooked up with a teenager. No need to go running back into his arms just yet, as mom urged you to do.
The more I think about L’ultimo Bacio the more I hate it – but is it possible that I’m just not getting the point? Is there some reason that most of the male characters are selfish children who refuse to grow up and take on any responsibility? Are we supposed to hope or despair for the future as we watch these thirty somethings’ (and older ) sad lives? Really. Is this a feel good or a feel bad movie?
And that’s another thing – if this movie were about teenagers I might have liked it better (probably not). But these guys are just too old to be behaving so badly. At least to be behaving so badly and and want me to care about them, anyway.
I don’t get it. I don’t wanna get it. I don’t like it.