I hardly ever watch movies. I don’t have the time. The reviews have to be stellar to get me to the theater. The last movie I watched was ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’ I really enjoyed it, but probably would not have seen it, had it not been an organized movie night with some girlfriends. The movie before that? ‘Brokeback Mountain’ which I absolutely loved. Like I said, I don’t watch movies often.
I don’t know where I first heard about ‘The Last Kiss,’ but I ended up watching the trailer online and writing in my To Do List that I had to watch it. It centers around a 29-year-old guy going through a mid-life crisis who feels like his life has been so planned out. His girlfriend of three years is pregnant, she wants to get married, buy a house, and suddenly he’s overwhelmed and terrified. The trailer and his story resonated with me so fervently that I made a point to watch it with a friend this weekend–on a Saturday night.
I left the theater with dampened spirits. The movie was rather depressing.
My writing clearly depicts my angst in choosing between a committed relationship and staying single. This movie screams: STAY SINGLE! DON’T GET MARRIED! DON’T BE STUPID ENOUGH TO GET PREGNANT WHEN YOU’RE NOT MARRIED! I actually left the theater thinking, “Wow, I guess I do have it good. My life is great compared to these people.”
I was thinking about the movie today again and realized that I felt a connection not just to the main character, but to many of the other ones as well.
Michael, main character, mid-life crisis: I connect with Michael because I do feel like my whole life has been planned out. I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. Go to grad school, buy a house. And now I’m supposed to settle down, but I’m not sure if I want to. If I do, does that mean I’ll give up all the excitement of being young and spontaneous? He’s not able to go on a trip to South America with his buddies. If I settle down, I won’t be able to do the travel that I do now.
Jenna, Michael’s girlfriend, pregnant: Jenna kinda goes crazy in the movie. She finds out her boyfriend of three years lied and cheated on her. Yeah, I went ballistic too when I found out my boyfriend cheated on me and I didn’t have the hormonal swings of a pregnant woman.
Anna, Jenna’s mother, trying to salvage her marriage: Unhappy, Anna wants love and affection. “Flesh and blood,” she calls it. Which is what I wanted with Dave. I just wanted him to look at me with desire, to make me feel wanted. Anna has an affair. I found the attention I needed at Burning Man.
Kim, Michael’s young fling: You can’t help but feel sorry for this college musician. She falls for Michael, desperately tries to hold on to him, and is shocked when she finds out he’s going to be a father. Kim resonated with me the most. I saw myself in her during her last dialogue with Michael when he tells her he’s an asshole and it’s not about her. I’m paraphrasing, but she says something like, “Why does this always happen? There must be something wrong with me if guys keep leaving me. It must be about me.”
I thought back to two years ago when I was painfully in love with someone. I was 29, he was 38–the exact same age difference as Michael and Kim in the movie. It must have been love–the way he looked at me. But it was nothing but physical attraction and amusement and maybe I made him feel young again. I’m sure I did. But his heart was elsewhere. It took me a long time to recover from that heartache.
Kenny, the bartender: I want to be Kenny. Independent, gets what he wants, happy doing things others deem boring (fishing at the local river), loves his life. Ironic that he’s got the name of the South Park character who dies in every episode. Everyone else seems to be dying a slow, painful death in this movie except for him. Long live Kenny.