The Last Kiss

22 Sep

So we saw the new movie with Zach Braff in it, The Last Kiss, (which is neither written nor directed by him, and isn’t like or related to Garden State in any other way). More and more I’m seeing romantic comedies/dramas and realizing that the entire basis of conflict in them stems from monogamy being the One Right Way to do things. (By the way, I’m going to spoil the movie.)

The main storyline is about Braff’s character, who has this girlfriend he and his friends describe as perfect. She’s (accidentally) three-months pregnant with their child and they’re pleased about it. They’re not married, and now don’t want to get married because they don’t want it to look like they did it “just for the child.” (I’m not sure if that reason makes sense, but I’m also not sure if marriage makes sense.) In any case, Braff’s character feels like his life is done surprising him. He’s committing to start a family, and that’s it. He can see his entire future laid out before him. It scares him. It’s basically a mid-life crisis at age 29.

So Braff’s character is flirted on by a cute, horny, and blunt college girl, who he then spends some more time with, and one thing leads to another. She’s the wild and crazy part of his life that is otherwise absent.

It almost starts out as a good and interesting movie. There are interesting questions here about mapping out one’s future and what the acceptable choices are for doing so (and whether it even makes sense to do so at all). There’s a line in it something like “I’ll marry you when you can name three couples you know that have lasted more than five years.” It mentions that when marriage was first initiated as a ceremony the average lifespan was 30 years. It hints that, perhaps maybe, this sort of “till death do us part” exclusive relationship isn’t the way to go anymore.

And then it gets stupid.

You probably guessed that Braff ends up making out with the cute college girl, despite his hesitation. And you probably guessed that his “perfect” girlfriend finds out. He says that it didn’t mean anything, that Kim (the cute college girl) was just a friend, someone he met, and Jenna (the “perfect” girlfriend) has to know, just must find out, did he kiss her?

And then I have to know, just must find out, what the hell difference does it make whether they kissed or not? If his lips touched hers, will he be a bad father? Does the fact that he was turned on by a cute, horny, blunt college student mean his feelings for “perfect” Jenna have changed? Seriously, I must know. Does anyone have an answer?

Jenna seems to think it absolutely matters, and she blows up at him, brandishes a knife at him(!) and yells at him to get out. All because he kissed another girl.
This really doesn’t make sense to me. It just doesn’t.
And then of course she has to know if he slept with her. (He didn’t.) And then he leaves, because, well, she told him too and threatened him with a knife. He drives off, and goes back to Kim (and now is when he sleeps with her). Where the hell else did Jenna expect him to go?

Eventually, after much yelling, swearing, and locked doors, Braff and Jenna seem to make-up for his “unforgivable” and “despicable” act of kissing Kim, only to have him be completely honest and open with her. Which means he tells her that no, he hadn’t slept with Kim when she asked, but that after that, yes, he did.
And she has the same reaction as before, blowing up at him and kicking him out of the house.
What difference does it make now?
I felt like I was watching a movie about human beings written and made by aliens who don’t really understand how humans behave and why they do what they do. It just made no sense whatsoever.

Don’t get me wrong, having a child is an important commitment, and people who become parents need to be prepared to do it well and have the life of their child be more important than their own lives. But why does the sexual relationship of both parents have to be exclusive? Why does it matter if one of them kisses someone else? Why did his kiss with Kim have to be “the last” one (the last one not with Jenna)?

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One Response to “The Last Kiss”

  1. sparklydictator September 23, 2006 at 12:49 pm #

    this is why i simply avoid romantic comedies

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