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The Last Word
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The Last Word (2008/I) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 2 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Last Word -- An odd-but-gifted poet, Evan Merck (Wes Bentley, American Beauty) makes his living writing suicide notes for the soon-to-be departed.
The Last Word -- Trailer for this dark comedy about a man who specializes in writing suicide notes


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6.4/10   2,576 votes »
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Geoffrey Haley (written by)
View company contact information for The Last Word on IMDbPro.
A romantic comedy where opposites distract.
A man (Bentley) who makes his living composing other people's suicide notes enters into a romance with the sister (Ryder) of a recent client. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(4 articles)
User Reviews:
Sundance Review See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order)

Wes Bentley ... Evan

Winona Ryder ... Charlotte

Ray Romano ... Abel

Gina Hecht ... Hilde

A.J. Trauth ... Greg

Katherine Boecher ... Clara

John Billingsley ... Brady

Alison Moir ... Susan
Mickey Mickey ... Robin (as Mickey Ewan)

Kurt Caceres ... Sammy

Allan Rich ... Francis

Richard Riehle ... Man at Gorge

Michael Cornacchia ... Client

Ivar Brogger ... Priest
Jules Adrianna Sorensen ... House of Pies Waitress

Rachel Grant ... Peppercorn Waitress
Mario Aguilar Jr. ... Delivery Man
Kathrin Middleton ... Mom
Timothy Wayne Peternel Jr. ... Cute Baby
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ron Fernandez ... Recording Engineer (uncredited)
Paul Haasch ... Matty (uncredited)
Edwin L. Marshall ... Barfly (uncredited)

Brendan Miller ... Brent (uncredited)

Chris Moss ... Dancer (uncredited)
Kal Parekh ... Club Dancer (uncredited)
Zef Shalaj ... I-Pod Guy (uncredited)

Sanny van Heteren ... Pony Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
Geoffrey Haley 
Writing credits
Geoffrey Haley (written by)

Produced by
David Bergstein .... producer
Lawrence E. Davis .... executive producer (as Lawrence Davis)
David Hillary .... producer
Diego Matamoros .... executive producer
Richard Middleton .... line producer
Alexandra Milchan .... producer
Timothy Wayne Peternel .... producer
Jeff Rice .... executive producer
Bonnie Timmermann .... producer
Jack Utsick .... producer
Gary Michael Walters .... executive producer
Original Music by
John Swihart 
Cinematography by
Kees Van Oostrum 
Film Editing by
Fabienne Rawley 
Casting by
Shannon Makhanian 
Production Design by
Erin Smith 
Set Decoration by
William DeBiasio 
Costume Design by
Bonnie Stauch 
Makeup Department
Mandi Crane .... makeup artist (as Mandi Maugh)
Brigitte Hennech .... makeup department head
Karyn Huston .... hair department head
Tracy Manzo .... key makeup artist
Kim Woolery .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Marion Douglas .... unit production manager
Ron Fernandez .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jon Recher .... second second assistant director
Joseph Suarez .... second assistant director
Art Department
Chris Brewster .... set dresser
Michael O'Donnell .... lead man
Nic Weethee .... on-set dresser
Joyce Yeich .... assistant property master
Sound Department
Ryan Anthony Arakaki .... adr assistant
Brian Best .... supervising sound editor
Matthew C. Beville .... adr mixer
Richard Burton .... dialogue editor
Corey Eccles .... sound editor (as Corey Eccle)
George Flores .... sound mixer
Valeria Ghiran .... utility sound technician
Eric Lalicata .... sound re-recording mixer
Eric Lalicata .... supervising sound editor
Shelley Roden .... foley artist
Dan Snow .... sound facility manager
Special Effects by
Larry Fioritto .... special effects supervisor
Steve Newquist .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Ben Campanaro .... lead compositor: Mechnology
Casey Yahnke .... digital compositor: Mechnology
Rocky Abou-Sakher .... stunt double
Mikal Kartvedt .... stunt coordinator
Benedetto Sorrentino .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Mark Bain .... film loader
William Boaz .... lighting technician
Greg Brezovec .... electrician
Edward Button .... assistant camera
Allen Dial .... lighting technician
Marco Fargnoli .... director of photography: second unit
John Farr .... gaffer
Geoffrey Haley .... Steadicam operator
Geoffrey Haley .... camera operator
Steve Hurson .... key first assistant camera
Tracy Keele .... best boy grip
Kevin Kennedy .... key grip
Rick Lamb .... additional first assistant camera: day player
Richard Maxey .... dolly grip
Allen Nalasco .... still photographer
Yen P. Nguyen .... second assistant camera
Glade Quinn .... grip
Casting Department
Rich King .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jessica Elliott .... set costumer
Kristen Evenson .... key costumer
Tara Sanovich .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Josh Hunt .... assistant editor
Amy Martinson .... post-production coordinator
Mato .... color timer
Music Department
Ted Blaisdell .... score engineer
Adam Blau .... composer: additional music
Gary Calamar .... music supervisor
Jason Johnson .... composer: additional music
Shie Rozow .... music editor
J. Eric Schmidt .... conductor
Alyson Vidoli .... music coordinator
Hyesu Yang .... orchestrator
Joseph Trapanese .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Transportation Department
D'Aldo Fazzone .... transportation captain
Kip Fazzone .... driver
Billy Kane .... transportation coordinator
John 'J.P.' Pratt .... transportation captain
Matt Voytish .... driver
Other crew
T.J. Amato .... assistant to director
Michael Barnes .... distribution legal
Michael Barnes .... financial legal services
Jacob Bartol .... assistant location manager
Randin Brown .... production assistant
Bob Corff .... dialect coach
Caroline Couret-Delegue .... set production assistant
Mary Decaro .... assistant to producer
Shawn Douglas .... office production assistant
Roger Fath .... location assistant
Alex Garcia .... key set medic
Sherie Giehtbrock .... script supervisor
Tony Gonzalez .... choreographer
Carol Green .... unit publicist
Mike Hoy .... production assistant
Ryan Kennedy .... set production assistant
Richard Lilly .... production assistant
Anthony J. Moore .... key office production assistant
Demetrius Moore .... office production assistant
Don Napoli .... key production accountant
David Paige .... key set production assistant
Danny Sconyers .... location manager
Adam M. Stone .... product placement
Cat Stone .... product placement
Laura Warner .... assistant accountant
Ian Watermeier .... production executive
Adam Wilchacky .... assistant to producer

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Rated R for language
USA:90 min | Germany:90 min (European Film Market)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

According to an interview he gave to the New York Times in 2010, this movie was made during the middle of Wes Bentley's decade-long, extremely serious addiction to cocaine and heroin. He said in that interview that he only accepted any movie roles during that time so that he would have money to buy enough drugs.See more »
Revealing mistakes: While driving on the freeway with Evan, Charlotte has her hands on the steering wheel which is at a 90 degree turn to the left. She would not be going straight with the wheel like that. You can see that her hands are placed correctly, but with the wheel like that, they would be driving in a circle.See more »
Abel:Get her some flowers and buy her a puppy. Chicks love puppies, man. I'm telling you. They're like heroine with fur.See more »
WickedSee more »


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26 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Sundance Review, 30 August 2008
Author: inkling2008 from United States

This is the finest comedy/drama I've seen in a couple of years, and it has the most satisfying ending I've ever seen. The film stars Wes Bentley (ironically, Haley shot the famous videotape of the plastic bag that Bentley shows to Thora Birch in "American Beauty") as Evan, who is a professional author of suicide notes. He meets with his clients, gets a sense of what they want, then asks them to keep a journal of their thoughts for a few weeks, after which Evan produces a poetic, client-customized suicide note for the soon-to-be-departed. He has become so prolific that one of his clients won a national poetry prize for Evan's note; the ever-mordant Evan is quick to add that the prize was, of course, awarded posthumously.

Evan estimates that 30% of his clients actually kill themselves; one who does is a young man named Matt Morris. When Evan attends Matt's funeral---he often attends the graveside service to evaluate the effect of his note on those in attendance---, Matt's sister Charlotte (Winona Ryder) follows him out of the service and asks him if he was a friend of her brother's. Evan lies that he went to Cornell with Matt, and soon he and Charlotte are dating. Trouble ensues when Evan eats dinner at Charlotte's house with the whole surviving family firing questions at him.

Meanwhile, we meet Evan's newest client, Abel (an excellent Ray Romano), an acerbic misanthrope with a death wish. They develop an unlikely bond, and there are some extremely touching (and hilarious) exchanges between the two as they work on Abel's farewell (in one such conversation, Abel, encouraging Evan to pursue Charlotte, tells him to buy her a puppy: "Girls love puppies. They're like heroin with fur!").

Things get complicated between Evan and Charlotte as he has must go to increasingly absurd lengths to conceal his true occupation and the real reason that he knew her brother. I won't reveal any more of the plot, because this is a ride truly to be enjoyed by the moviegoer.

Bentley fulfills the promise he showed in "American Beauty." He manages to imbue his characteristic monotone and piercing gaze with enough hints of emotion to reveal the depths of grief churning below his icy surface. Romano shows surprising dramatic range while retaining his trademark wit; it will be interesting to see if he continues to try to stretch his acting range. (On a side note, he admitted in the post-film Q&A that his psychiatrist reads the script before Romano will commit to any project.) Ryder is the only weak link here. She does a competent job, her doe eyes signaling the hurt over her brother's death that is only worsened by Evan's seeming callousness, but her acting doesn't rise to the level of her co- stars. Thankfully, it is really Bentley and Romano's film, and they make the most of it.

This is an astounding first feature from Haley, who wrote the screenplay in his trailer during breaks while lensing the final season of "Six Feet Under." Although he hasn't yet struck a distribution deal, potential buyers in yesterday's audience could not ignore the thunderous ovation that met the closing credits. Go see this one when it comes out in a theater near you, which it will. You won't be disappointed.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Last Word (2008)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
what the hell happened in the very end convoitez
Pretty sure Chuck Palahniuk's been there, done that... inflorescence
Wes absolutely horrible willard86
Looking up Evan's number from the phone book leonthecleaner-1
Impressions amkatz
Reading at Matthew's Funeral elefantmahout
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