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I Just Want to Kiss You (1998)

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7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 89 users  
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Title: I Just Want to Kiss You (1998)

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User Reviews

An enjoyable new-wave homage and character piece that really could have done both (or either) a bit better
19 April 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A twenty-something man is having a shave while his best friend hands around the house. The man is a bit of a clown and enjoys joking around and not taking anything too seriously. With some money in their pocket, the two go out to the cinema and then for a quick drink. They meet a couple of girls in the pub and both men hit it off reasonably well with them until, that is, the man's rather worse for wear father joins them.

With the whole film being a very clear reference to films within the French new wave I thought that this was going to be much more directed around that, perhaps in the way that the similar UK short Je t'aime John Wayne had done to pretty humorous effect. However this aspect never got to be more than just a backdrop – the fact that it resembled such films never became the all, which I suppose is a good thing in a way. For the majority of the film it is an interesting character piece that looks at the young man in question and allows us to see the thing in his life that has made him perhaps hide behind the constant joking. To me this was of interest but sadly I didn't think it did that as well as it could as it felt constrained a bit by the new wave touches and the audience was required to do a lot of interpretation rather than the script being used to bring it out.

Freeman is quite good but I couldn't help get the feeling that he has played this same character more than once, albeit slight variations along the way. He is effective although I wish he had been given more chance to bring out the side of his character that I got the impression he was burying at the same time. Peacock plays the character that fits in much better with the new wave feel but the downside is that he is less of a person – not that it really matters that much. Cooke's father is well played so that we don't dislike him to the point where that is our overriding emotion – we do dislike him but we are invited to care for the son more.

Overall this is a good film but I couldn't shake the feeling that the two elements (character and genre) got in each others way a little bit and, although both worked well enough to make for an enjoyable short film, I felt that they could have done better with either of them – preferably the character element.


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