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LAST KISS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Giulia (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Carlo (Stefano Accorsi) have been happily living together for three years; when Giulia discovers she is pregnant, she is ecstatic, but Carlo panics. The news also impacts on Giulia's mother Anna (Stefania Sandrelli), who after 29 years of marriage, suddenly realises she will be a grandmother and laments that her youth seems to have slipped away. When Carlo meets beautiful 18 year-old schoolgirl Francesca (Martina Stella), he is captivated and pursues her for one last fling. In the meantime, his buddies are having a crisis of their own.

Review by Louise Keller:
A gem about relationships at crisis point, The Last Kiss is an insightful and delightful comedy about life, love and everything in between. Appealing to all ages, but delivering extra pathos to mature palates, Gabriele Muccino's script hones in on the panic that sets in at different times for those of different ages. The film begins and ends with a wedding, but what happens in between is high opera. A middle aged woman feels unattractive and thinks her life is passing her by; an expectant father crumbles under the weight of responsibility; a new father rejects the changes his life is offering; a young mother resents the inevitable changes that her new role brings; a high school girl gets a compulsive crush on an older man…. The Last Kiss takes a close look at intimacy with a perceptive eye – the highs, the lows, the craziness, the drama, the pain, the madness and the joy. And all the while, a pulsating music score provides an undercurrent for the emotions. Clever editing shapes the emotional dramatic curve, and the individual, interconnected stories impact on each other poignantly. It's a rollercoaster ride – from the frenzy of young love to the point of no return. As the story reaches its satisfying climax, we note that love is indeed a compromise. And in the game of love, there are those that leave and those stay. But the circle of life continues. Enlivened by wonderful performances, delicious moments and a great sense of our innermost emotions, The Last Kiss is a delicious bite of heaven and hell on earth.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
You’d all know that saying about democracy being a very bad form of government…but all the others are so much worse. Well, The Last Kiss does its best to show that long term relationships are a very bad form of co-habitation . . .but so much better than any alternative. Cleverly, it uses young people’s folly to make its point, and that’s part of the fun. Volatile young lovers make great cinema, especially in Italian. And in what is a great piece of commercial artistry, Gabriele Muccino tackles the subject of love Italian style with verve and acute observation – and without mercy for gender. Both men and women are put to the test and found wanting, only love emerges unscathed. It’s officially a comedy perhaps, but with lots of bite, and with great scenes of high drama. A splendid score helps establish the film’s mood as a serious but not self-important exploration of the most dramatic and important aspects of western civilisation: family, love, truth and self knowledge. But it does it all without pretension or fuss, and with lots of energy.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

LAST KISS, THE (M)
(Italy)

(L'Ultimo Bacio)

CAST: Stefano Accorsi, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Stefania Sandrelli, Marco Cocci, Pierfrancesco Favino, Sabrina Impacciatore,

PRODUCER: Domenico Procacci

DIRECTOR: Gabriele Muccino

SCRIPT: Gabriele Muccino

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Marcello Montarsi

EDITOR: Claudio Di Mauro

MUSIC: Paolo Buonvino

PRODUCTION DESIGN: (Not credited)

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 25, 2002 (Sydney/Melbourne); Other States to follow. (Advance screenings April 19, 20, 21)







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