In most screenwriting classes, you’re advised to steer clear of extensive first-person voiceover. Film, the received wisdom goes, is a showing medium. One gets the sense from Last Stop for Paul that Mandt doesn’t care a fig for received wisdom. He lets lead character Charlie (whom Mandt plays) chatter away at regular intervals—he even delivers a “what I learned” monologue at the end of the film. As a result, Last Stop’s success depends on whether you like Charlie or not.
Frankly, it’s a toss-up. Charlie’s a party-hearty guy who holds down a job mostly to pay for his world travels. For him, seeing the world seems to consist mostly of getting drunk and hitting on women. Charlie’s more restrained coworker Cliff (Carter) decides to tag along in order to spread an old friend’s ashes around the globe. This leads to much drinking and flirting in the Caribbean, South America, Greece and Thailand, with periodic pauses for ash spreading and carpe-diem speechifying.
To be blunt, Charlie is a bit of a tool, but he’s the kind of tool who’s fun to travel with. One of the funniest jokes of the film is implicit; Charlie and Cliff scam free rooms around the globe by claiming to be travel writers. We’ll bet you a dollar Mandt and company scammed their free rooms by claiming to be making a movie. Dude!