Take a Drink: whenever a character does
Take a Drink: whenever somebody mentions being, or talks about being, a writer
Take a Drink: when you hope either gets away with it… or whenever you want them to just break up already
Take a Drink: whenever somebody flirts with somebody that isn’t their husband or wife
Take a Drink: whenever somebody does worse
Do a Shot: for justifications
By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
I usually review movies on a bit of a curve. If a film accomplishes what it sets out to do while delivering on the technical and acting fronts, it gets my relative seal of approval, regardless of the genre or likability of its characters or situations.
Kim Ki-duk knows what I’m talkin’ bout.
Last Night, though… uggh. Let’s start with the scenario: a married couple spend a night apart, both facing temptation to cheat on their spouse. For the wife (Keira Knightley), it’s a dashing French author (Guillaume Canet) who she once was in a relationship with. For the husband (Sam Worthington), it’s the work colleague who’s caught his eye (Eva Mendes). Will they give in to this temptation?
There’s some inherent suspense in that scenario, and this is the kind of movie that’ll make you want to yell at the screen as it amplifies. I will say I generally wasn’t bored. Also, the film is certainly professionally shot and acted, and in particular Knightley gives gives an engaging, radiant performance.
Sam Worthington gives a… Sam Worthington-y performance.
While this thankfully settles down after the first 20 minutes or so, the overlapping dialogue and frenetic cutting is pretty damn annoying when it does crop up.
The script is full of faux philosophy and platitudes and writerly conceits standing in for insight. Poor Eva Mendes in particular gets nothing but expository bullshit and weird tics like her “letting random occurrences dictate whether I do something or not” habit (which is then analyzed with pop psychology of course) to try and create a character with.
The worst part is all four characters are deeply, deeply selfish people, but he script tries to present this as character depth, where nothing could be further from the truth. Not communicating via email because “it’s just not enough” just makes you a dick, not a mysterious Gallic Lothario.
Also that hair… that hair makes you a dick.
I generally love movies that exit in media res- it’s a surefire conversation starter and forces you to examine what came before. Here though, it’s just stupid. There’s no mystery to what happens next, no further analysis necessary. Their relationship will fail, and so will the relationship after that, and the one after that. Nobody will make these people happy, because they don’t understand the value of sacrificing temporary pleasures to ensure a greater, stable one. They want to have their… strawberry shortcake and, um… eat it too? Eww.
Last Night is a relationship drama delivering pure, uncut artifice in the guise of honesty. I feel sorry for the director’s partner.