Last Night

Last Night is a film that masquerades as a drama/romance, written and directed by Massy Tadjedin. When I say masquerades, I mean it in a sense that it is too shallow to be an effective drama, and the characters are too one-dimensional to have the necessary chemistry for a romance. The premise is a young couple facing temptation on the same night.

The movie starts out with a young couple rushing to get ready for a party. Joanna (Keira Knightley) isn’t ready and they’re already late, and her husband Michael (Sam Worthington) is annoyed. They catch a cab to the party, where Michael spends all his time with Laura (Eva Mendes), a very attractive coworker, leaving Joanna to mingle with his work friends. Predictably, she throws an incoherent drunken tantrum when they get home and insists on sleeping on the couch.

The next day, Michael leaves on an overnight business trip with Laura. Joanna is a writer and she promises Michael that she will work today. Her own plans are derailed by a surprise visit by ex-boyfriend Alex (Guillaume Canet) who takes her out for dinner and drinks. It’s very clear she isn’t over him, and the feeling is mutual. A number of painfully terrible and awkward conversations follow, including Joanna getting grilled on her marriage and fidelity by Alex’s friend Truman (Griffin Dunne). Meanwhile, Michael is having drinks with Laura, who suggests that they go skinny-dipping in the hotel pool. The duration of the movie is pseudo-emotional drivel and guilt.

This movie made me bored out of my mind. The only redeeming thing there was about it was the cute accents of the actors, who were probably cast to hide the complete lack of character depth and development. Stereotypical is too good of a descriptor for the characters, because it would suggest that the characters are at least one dimensional. For instance, Joanna is immature, insecure, self-absorbed, unconfident, and barely says anything that could be considered intelligent. However, all of the male characters fawn over her talent and intelligence when most of what she says involves “I don’t know” and giggling.

The movie felt very lifeless to me. There was no foreshadowing, and every conversation existed only to move the story to the end, rather than to make it enjoyable. I caught a continuity/editing error during the pool scene. If this film had been condensed into a thirty minute sitcom and replaced the dialogue with comedy, it may have had an entertaining premise.

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