All-grown-up kid actor Michael Angarano’s surprisingly mature and intelligent turn as dying teen Dylan in One Last Thing... should be the jumping-off point for a promising film career. In fact, it’s the youngest cast members who demonstrate the most skill; the requisite immaturity in an adolescent-dominated film is left to director Alex Steyermark, who seems to be using this combination male fantasy--tearjerker to appease a deep-seated Peter Pan complex.
Granted, if I were a horny, doped-up, terminally ill 16-year-old virgin, my dying wish would be to bang the hottest supermodel in town too. But Steyermark’s attention is too focused on his protagonist’s last request to pay anything more than passing attention to his film’s other characters: Cynthia Nixon is stiff and awkward in her one-dimensional role as Dylan’s working-class, stay-strong single mother; Sunny Mabrey, as the leggy blond object of Dylan’s affection, proves definitively that hot model is by no means synonymous with good actor; and Ethan Hawke, who pops up in flashbacks as Dylan’s dead dad, serves more as comic relief than intended heartbreaking back story. Audiences needing a good cry would do better to rent Beaches one more time than buy a ticket to One Last Thing.... (Opens Fri; Landmark Sunshine.)—Martha Tuber