"Happiness is always a coincidence" (Jose Bergamin).
Courage that gives a chance to personal freedom and coincidence that may open the door to happiness... For a number of reasons, some intentional and some coincidental, the film is, in a nutshell, a smoldering romance of new wave in the medium. Let me, however, highlight some deservedly important aspects of the content and the performances.
A terribly strenuous day for one Niklas (Ken Duken), an elegant, strict, principled, restrained young German businessman from Frankfurt, who is supposed to travel to New York City for one day with an unpleasant, severe mission. He is ordered to shut down a company that no longer occurs to be beneficial and fire the employees. He appears to have experienced most pleasures that life can give, surely all the ones that may be bought and yet, something aches in his mind and heart, something that cannot be removed by financial means loneliness disguised in suit and manners of a businessman...
A crazy, unpredictable day for one Leticia (Nicole Behari), a beautiful, vibrant, young, unprincipled singer from NYC. As a daughter of a pastor, she needs relief and independence from the preachy style. Her songs, however, need new inspiration and promotion...yet, where she can find it is not where her real trouble lies. Something else aches in her heart, too, something that cannot be removed by artistic means loneliness disguised in her songs - the only true expression of her inner self.
With a little bit of courage and a little irony of coincidence...this strenuous, unpredictable, crazy day will occur to be a truly turning point for the two. Flowers will be placed at the empty concrete and beauty at the gray routine something the screenplay supplies us not merely on the screen...
Awarded at the Brooklyn International Festival and the Black Reel Awards, MY LAST DAY WITHOUT YOU directed by Stephen C. Schaefer and produced by Diane Crespo is a true surprise. Made at the new production companies, Cicala Filmworks and Silver Shepherd, it reveals nothing but a new wave in modern cinema with considerably unknown but very good cast and production merits that address the majority of modern audiences. The strongest points of this movie lie in pleasant direction, pretty uncomplicated but considerably appealing nature of storytelling, NYC's spirit of 'melting pot' expressed in the different ethnic backgrounds of the protagonists and quite vivid characters easily identified with. That makes the movie something both youngsters and elderly viewers may equally enjoy. Besides, it is important to note that this is a love story but no tearjerker whatsoever.
Although the content is quite predictable from the moment they see each other for the first time and Leticia gives Niklas her CDs as a self-promotion, the foregoing events are enjoyable to watch. The chemistry between the protagonists is worth attention. Although they differ, growing love is something that unites them. Late mothers of them both somehow see their actions. Although Niklas, as a European, cares about the past and Leticia, as an Afro-American does not necessarily bother with those things, they both find a mutual future (consider this multinational flair given to the characters). That aspect of 'loneliness is over!' 'we have found love!' 'we are born again!' is supreme and sealed by the final moment of the day when she sings the most meaningful, spontaneous song dedication of her career. She has her rules and he respects them...he has his past and she learns it...they both have their inner dreams and they fulfill them...the test is quick and surprising.
The supporting cast hold the essence of humor. That refers, in particular, to Laith Nakli as a funny taxi driver who, from time to time, utters something hilarious and whose 'sleepy excesses' make for gales of laughter. Reg E Cathey is sympathetic as Pastor, a sweet old fashioned father who is, perhaps preachy at certain moments and who makes Leticia angry at times but the one who always has a good word for her. How nice it is to discover that he finds himself in a similar position to his daughter...
An enjoyable film, a brief depiction of coincidental/intentional love experience worth seeing in two. Is happiness always a coincidence? Hard to say...but, surely, nothing in it is planned by ourselves.
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