The tepid Italian dramedy L’ultimo bacio (2001) followed twentysomething men as they experienced the growing pains that come with procrastinating an entry into adulthood. This American remake changes very little from the source material; apparently, stultifying mediocrity is a lingua franca. Like its predecessor, The Last Kiss finds all the young dudes dealing with their glory days fading in the rear-view mirror. Michael (Braff) seems to be the only guy who has his shit together, even as fatherhood looms on the horizon. Inside, he’s just as panic-stricken as everybody else, and once temptation in the form of a brunette (Bilson) rears its head, guess who starts craving forbidden fruit?
We’ve been down this man-opausal path before, yet this particular plight of the immature feels like one of the more toothless takes on the concept. The whole affair has a middle-of-the-road sensibility that makes it the cinematic equivalent of that Coldplay song on the soundtrack or the Gap outfits the characters wear: Everything is diluted to maximum blandness. Worse, there’s no interest in really examining the male in early-midlife-crisis mode; The Last Kiss ultimately boils down to the Scrubs star cracking cute and The O.C. hottie biting her lip seductively. Don’t we have TV for that?—David Fear
(Opens Fri; see Now Playing for venues.)