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|Index||17 reviews in total|
OK. So I went to see this movie on Valentine's day with my girlfriend. We thought it would be a nice romantic movie. ehhh wrong. It is very poorly made. The script is cheesy and trite, it is very predictable. The lines are awkward, and made even worse by the fact that none of the actors are competent. The plot promotes the idea of leaving your spouse and family while planning to commit adultery....something that I don't think is something that needs to be promoted. In conclusion, this is a horrible film. Cheaply made, it is based on a bad idea and made by incompetent amateurs who did the wrong thing, and then decided to tell the world about their sins. To top it all off, there is an absolutely horrific song that plays during the closing credits. "At last it's you, at last it's me, at last it's we." cheese-tastic. At Last this movie is over...at last this review is over...and lastly, I would strongly discourage anyone from ever wasting two hours of their life on this film.
Even with a running time of just over ninety-minutes, when the closing
credits roll you'll find yourself repeatedly (and gratefully) shouting
the film's title.
"At Last," a vanity piece based on the real life romance of the film's screenwriters, never rises above the level of a made-for-TV families-in-crisis melodrama. Set in Bayou country, Martin Donovan, doing a fine mid-period Fred MacMurray, plays an unhappily married father of two. Rummaging through a box of memories, Donovan happens upon a stack of romantic correspondence between himself and a teen flame that was denied the couple by his prison warden of a mother (Brooke Adams). Of course Donovan and Kelly Lynch meet, of course they are both in miserable romances, and of course they make it work in the end. If only this path to true love was not paved with so many pothole-sized clichés.
Each actor is assigned two or three instantly recognizable characteristics that define them. Donovan sells cars, lives in his father's shadow and longs to chuck it all and sail around the world. His wife (Jessica Hecht) is a cold, bottled up workaholic whose bun hairdo reflects her tightly-wound personality. Lynch is a social worker who constantly fights with her daughter while despising her husband's (Michael Arata) alcoholism. Aside from being a drunk, Arata loves practicing his golf swing, and when pressed, is able to let loose a powerful backhand across his daughter's cheek. Mother Adams chain-smokes and drinks. If her profound inability to apply eye make-up is any indication, this is one mama with a bad case of the shakes.
First time (and does it show) director Tom Anton can't resist cheap linking devices: Lynch in the kitchen dousing her onion-stung eyes with cold water, match cut to Hecht over a basin trying to cool down after discovering her home pregnancy test came up positive. Nor is the director skilled at side-stepping hackneyed plot devices: the lovers' first kiss is interrupted by the wake of a passing boat. Anton even has the giggly film school chutzpah to have his name paged over the airport loudspeaker.
Donovan and Lynch give it their all, but the film's only salvation arrives in the form of M. C. Gainey. From Swamp Thing in "Con Air" to the bouncer in "Terminator III" to the full-frontal rampaging hubby in "Sideways," Gainey has carved his niche as a character actor willing to take chances in the most ungainly roles. As Donovan's pot-smoking, law defying older brother, Gainey has the role of his career as a Cajun artist whose gravelly, booze-bathed voice plays Jiminy Cricket to Donovan's guilt-ridden adulterer.
The film's most disturbing element has nothing to do with its dutiful structure. Timing is everything, and in light of the recent devastation in New Orleans the couples' climactic shipboard reunion backed by the bouncy ditty "Hurricane Party" gave me chills.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Seen as part of the Three Rivers Film festival, surprisingly there were only 40 people in the audience given the notoriety hurricane Katrina gate to the city of New Orleans, and here, in perfect timing, appears a movie shot on location in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The story is about an old relationship re-kindling in two mature adults. Both are unhappily married, and to show the why of such unhappiness, the story has to show a husband slapping his daughter, and a wife not wanting to have a romantic dinner on Friday night because she is a workaholic. Thus, the two unhappy wife1 and husband2 find each other and true love is found. OK. So far so good. But then, to add weight to the story, a few additions are made: wife2 has an abortion without telling husband2, and the latter finds out by reading a medical bill in the mail. Husband2 is unhappy, wife2 explains "do you think I enjoyed it?". Then, to widen the crack, wife2 says she wants to go to L.A. to start a new job (hey, women ARE allowed to make career choices too) and husband2 says she can go but without the kids, as he and the two children will be staying in New Orleans. Well, there is a little problem here: if a man choose to move from New Orleans to LA for a career move, would have the woman have had a say? no. But flip the sides, and voilà': there is a problem. And the sensitive issue of abortion, why make it part of the story? a woman has made a choice, in great angst (she is shown weeping in the shower), and hiding it from the husband is causing a crack in the marriage. I don't think it was necessary to bring such a sensitive topic into the story. It's too daring in today's milieu of mainstream America. Leave such topics to European cinema. We are in America here, we don't want to see or hear this. Aside from this, the cinematography is pleasant, bright houses, colorful canvases in a artist bohemian studio, outdoor cafés. But the pace is somewhat slow, and it lacks a cohesive something. A better formula of a relationship-based story is "You can Count on me" (2000).
I saw this film tonight at the San Diego Film Festival and it was
easily the best one I've seen so far. The production value was
wonderful - great acting and direction, great lighting, unobtrusive but
appropriate music... a great use of the location. And best of all was
the fact that this is based entirely on a very true story. It was great
to have a Q&A with the couple upon whom the film was based (co-writers
Tom Anton, Sandi Russell).
It was simply a very sweet love story that was told in an amusing, charming and romantic way. Again, nods to the great performances by the two leads, as well as that of the brother of the male lead. In fact, there wasn't a single bad performance, down to the 8-year old son.
Great date movie. Very sweet.
I really loved this film! At Last was set and filmed in my adopted hometown of New Orleans, before Hurricane Katrina. It perfectly captures the historic, beautiful, and charming city as it was, and hopefully will be again. If you want to see New Orleans the way it is meant to be, see this film. Having said that, this film has so much more to offer than just a spectacular location. It is a heartwarming and incredible story of true love, which is even more enjoyable knowing that it is based on the true life story of the writers and director. From start to finish, the film is well done. The story, script, casting, acting (especially that of M.C. Gainey), music and directing are all excellent. It's hard to believe this is the product of a first time director. Don't miss it!
Finally a film catches the French Quarter and all of its various nuances. I was taken on a journey through parts of New Orleans that I've always wanted to see. I was able to enjoy this film because all of the elements were there-a beautiful story line, excellent acting, and a soundtrack that I wish I could get a hold of. The music was spectacular and provided such an incredible representation of so many different types of music. Kelly Lynch gives a stunning performance and I'm sure there are many that identify with her character. Hats off to the director Tom Anton. His portrayal of such a touching story had me engaged and wanting to know more. I found this movie enchanting and hope to see more from this director.
I saw At Last at the Three Rivers Film Festival this November and I loved it! The movie is a wonderful adult romantic comedy. Kelly Lynch has never been better and Martin Donovan is wonderful. Based on the true story of the director and his wife(who helped him write the screenplay)At Last takes place in New Orleans and is a wonderful testament to that great city. Finally, a movie that is a celebration of first love and the journey that life takes us on without being overwrought and cheesy. This movie is not yet in national release, but with word of mouth and festival buzz it should see a 2006 release. Please see it and ask your local theater to book it.
What a great story--and a better picture. Clean, emotional, true to life. The cinematography is incredible and adds more to the movie than can be communicated in words--really capturing New Orleans before Katrina (the scenes in the Cemetery, as well as in the French Quarter are fantastic). The cast is strong, capturing the emotion that goes along with a lost love. I particularly liked the wife (cold as ice, exacting revenge through silence and endless hours of hard work.) The children do a great job, as does the entire cast. Tom Anton does a superb job for a first time director, I look forward to any future movies he might direct.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw "At Last" at the Kansas Film Festival on 09/11/05. Tom Anton and
his wife, co-writer Sandi Russell were at the film and did a Q&A
afterward. Absolutely great film. It tells the true life story of Tom
and Sandi's 25 year gap between falling in love and getting married.
The story is set in New Orlenes, before the flood and that made the
film's message even more powerful. Maybe Tom and Sandi's story of loss,
struggles, hope and redemption can be New Orlenes' as well. Their story
about how they finally ended up together isn't a spoiler at all. This
really isn't a religious film but the story of how they finally came
together after living in different states, married to different people
gives me a sense of faith.
I think everyone wants a "Do over" but life, unlike shooting baskets doesn't work like that. When it happened to Tom and Sandi maybe I could get one. In the Q&A after the film Sandi talked about the title, At Last. She said it was about the Balance being restored. About being with who you were meant to be with. Unbelievable story and a great movie. Don't miss it. In times like these we need hope and some sense that things are going to work out for the best. Finally at the Q&A Tom and Sandi did say some of the details in the film were true. They drove the exact same model of car and their first born did have the same name, Catherine. I'm happy for them and if you see the film I'll be happy for you.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was a nice little film reminiscent of European films in that it is about people and relationships in a microcosmic way. I suppose it is a very personal story in that it is supposed to be fact based. I'm sure there is artistic license but the integrity of the real story is evident. Mr. Anton fills the film with personal touches...I bet he is an old fashioned romantic guy. These characters seemed real; partially because they look real in an unhollywood way. The beauty of Ms. Lynch is that she can be drop dead gorgeous or pretty in a "regular girl" way. Supporting cast superb. Brooke Adams stole her scenes. MC whatever his name is was a delight. Kudos for cinematography......it just looked better than a lot of indies.
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