‘The Last Kiss’ parallels real life

Emily Triebwasser

As one fellow moviegoer claimed, “Guys: be prepared for your girlfriends to drag you to see this movie with them. But don’t worry…it’s not the chick flick you’ve mistaken it for. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you really enjoy it.”

“The Last Kiss” follows Michael (“Garden State” alum Zach Braff) and his three childhood friends throughout the various dilemmas that come with approaching the confusing and daunting age of 30. With the sudden pregnancy of his longtime girlfriend Jenna (Jacinda Barrett), Michael panics that his life has become stereotypically predictable.

Certain “adult” issues including the concept of marriage, children and buying a house terrify him into the realization that his life has already been planned out and that he lacks any control to change it, until he meets beautiful college student Kim (“The OC’s” Rachel Bilson in her film debut).

Exciting and intelligent, Kim acts as the perfect distraction from Michael’s “boring” life; she makes him feel young and free once more. As an affair commences, Michael is forced to consider what he truly cares about in his life and how he is going to deal with the mistakes that he makes.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Bilson directly about the film. “I chose this script as my film debut because I think the story is truly original,” she said. “It is surprisingly very serious, realistic and relatable.”

Paul Haggis (writer of “Million “Dollar Baby” and “Crash”) wrote this script with a variety of 20-something issues in mind.

Using Michael’s friends, he is able to generate a broad scope of these topics. Izzy is dealing with a debilitating break-up and a dying parent. Chris is dealing with the stress that his newborn son has on his marriage. Kenny is contemplating whether or not it is finally time to give up his life as a playboy. And of course, Michael is threatened by the thought of a boring life devoted to one woman. Even the older characters have realistic issues. Jenna’s parents (portrayed by the brilliant Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson) have marital strife and even go through a separation.

“This movie is so relatable to the point that, at any age, people are going through similar problems,” Bilson says, “Most films lie. This movie paints a very true picture of human nature.”

“The Last Kiss” has everything. While you are watching it, you’ll find yourself relating to every scene in distinct ways. You’ll laugh, not only because Zach Braff hysterically improvises some comedic dialogue, but also because the scenes are so true to life that it becomes bittersweet and funny. You’ll cry for the same reason. Whether you’re sympathetic towards everyone who ends up heartbroken (and there are plenty), or you’re just overwhelmed by the genuine emotion of each character, those tears will flow.

As Rachel Bilson’s character, Kim, insists, “The world is moving so fast now that we start freaking long before our parents did because we don’t ever stop to breathe anymore.” So take her advice. Give this film a few hours of your time. You’ll be surprisingly glad you did.