As Generation X turns the corner into adulthood, the midlife crisis has begun to come a few decades prematurely. Men once faced it at 50, but Michael (Zach Braff, “Scrubs”) and his three best friends Izzy (Michael Weston, “The Dukes of Hazzard”), Chris (Casey Affleck, Ocean’s Twelve) and Kenny (Eric Christian Olsen, “Beerfest”) are beginning to feel the effects of middle age. A remake of a recent Italian film of the same name (“L’ultimo bacio”), “The Last Kiss” follows the intertwining lives of the almost-adults and the melodrama of their relationships.
It’s a simple film about complex relationships. Michael and his girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett, “Poseidon”) lead a mundane yet seemingly happy mundane existence. However perfect their life and relationship may seem, Izzy is unhappy with the ordinariness of it. He sums it up best in voiceover when he explains: “When I was 12 I closed my eyes and pictured what it would be like to be 30 and this is exactly what I imagined.”
Though they aren’t married (and Michael refuses to even discuss the subject), Jenna is pregnant. Then at a wedding Michael meets beautiful co-ed Kim (Rachel Bilson, “The O.C.”), and they gently flirt. Amid a background of other failing or failed relationships among Michael’s friends, Michael goes through a rousing bit of predictable infidelity and dishonesty. Jenna leaves him, and only then does he realize how much he really does loves her.
It sounds formulaic, but “Kiss” does have a scattering of interesting scenes. Much of the credit for this goes to the screenplay penned by one of Hollywood’s latest flames, Oscar winner Paul Haggis, fresh off writing and directing last year’s best picture winner “Crash.”
But, billed as a date movie, the film doesn’t quite work, at least partly due to its ubiquitous melancholy. “Kiss” is unique in this, and though that might hurt its box-office numbers, it keeps it clear of clich