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Luigi Lo Cascio,
Carlo's life is thrown into a tailspin when his longtime girlfriend Giulia announces she's pregnant. As Carlo faces up to his anxieties about adulthood, his buddies Paolo, Adriano and Alberto reluctantly grapple with their own responsibilities. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
"Last Kiss (L'ultimo Bacio)" is a rollicking, sped up, very Italian version of "Four Weddings and a Funeral," though here it's two weddings, a funeral, a couple of affairs and a separation.
This is a very contemporary take on Northern Italian upper middle class society in modern apartments and houses and lots and lots of mobile phones. The casting is marvelous, as each character is made distinct by each actor's appearance and the character's foible and romantic situation within a large ensemble of four almost-30 friends from college, their significant others, and a set of parents and their friends.
The music is coordinated briskly with the zooming editing and I'm sure if I knew Italian pop music would be commenting on each character's taste. Ironically, the characters who seem languid and peaceful at the beginning, of course by the end are running around yelling when everyone else has calmed down.
The subtitles are in yellow, though still difficult to read, but barely communicate the characters' conversations; they speak at breakneck pace and can't possibly just say what's written, which was confirmed by my Italian friend (she also said that the written language is considerably cleaned-up, even with the subtitles including the occasional assh*le and f*ck -- that the insults are considerably more biologically descriptive). If Hollywood makes a version, there will be some cleaning up of the characters' actions (particularly as regards an "American Beauty"-like obsession, as the audience I was with gasped a few times at how far sympathetic characters went and then lied about it. Unusual for such a "When will you grow up?" movie, we also see the impact of impending grandparenthood. But extremely rare for an Italian movie (and for Italian society, says my friend) this showed what's good for the goose can be good for the gander.
(originally written 9/2/2002)
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