Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Movie You Aught to See: L’Ultimo Bacio

Regardless of whether the decade ended already ended in 2009 or will end at the close of the current year, the 2000s were a wonderful period of cinema with many treasures that deserve to be remembered. Check in at Movies with Abe on Mondays for Movies You Aught to See, a look back at memorable movies from the aughts. They are posted in no particular order, and if you have a great film from the 2000s that you think merits consideration, leave a note in the comments!

L’Ultimo Bacio
Directed by Gabriele Muccino
Released August 16, 2002

This Italian film, which translates to “The Last Kiss,” was remade in the United States in 2006 with Zach Braff in the leading role. The original, in this case, is infinitely better. Gabriele Muccino directed this film in his native language before coming to the United States to make the lackluster Will Smith films “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Seven Pounds.” The story of a thirty-year-old man named Carlo who falls for a high school student despite having a pregnant girlfriend, Giulia, is extremely funny and highly enjoyable. Watching the American version and picking up on its failures demonstrate just how well this one works. A great treat is a subplot involving the girlfriend’s mother’s own contemplation of infidelity. The standouts from the cast are the three main women: Giovanna Mezzogiorno (“Vincere,” “Love in the Time of Cholera”) as the rage-prone Giulia, veteran Italian actress Stefania Sandrelli as Giulia’s malcontent mother, and Martina Stella as Francesca, the young and fascinating temptation for Carlo. The film has a wonderfully clever ending, and it’s a delight throughout.

(I wasn't able to find an English-language version of the trailer, hence the still above)

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