The Last Kiss

Watch The Last Kiss

  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 6.9  (8,767)
  • 65

The Last Kiss (L'ultimo bacio) is an Italian film directed by Gabriele Muccino, released in 2001, and featuring an ensemble cast that includes Stefano Accorsi, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, and Stefania Sandrelli. The film presents a sincere, richly textured mosaic of relationships and experiences, with a blend of humor and melancholy, capturing the existential dilemmas of a group of thirty-somethings as they navigate the challenging transition from youthful indecision to the responsibilities of adulthood.

Stefano Accorsi plays Carlo, a man who, despite approaching the age at which society expects him to settle down, struggles with the idea of losing his youth and freedom. He has a steady job and a beautiful, devoted girlfriend Giulia, portrayed by Giovanna Mezzogiorno, who is pregnant with their first child. As the prospect of fatherhood looms on the horizon, Carlo is seized by a fear of entrapment and the suffocating permanence of the choices he is making.

Giulia, a woman coming to terms with the uncertainties of her own future, hopes to solidify her relationship with Carlo. She represents both the grounding force in his life and the symbol of the constraints he fears. Their relationship portrays the complexities and ambivalences present in modern love stories, where desires for commitment and autonomy collide.

Stefania Sandrelli is cast as Anna, Giulia's mother, who is facing a mid-life crisis. Her storyline underscores the thematic parallel between the different generations, showing that self-questioning and a longing for change are not exclusive to the young. As the family matriarch, Anna yearns for a sense of renewal and adventure, raising questions about the viability of 'forever after' in romantic partnerships.

The various narratives in The Last Kiss intertwine as the film explores the challenges that come with growing up, both for those ready to take the next step and for those who wish to cling to their youth. The characters' attempts to escape the inevitable march of time resonate with the confusion, infidelity, friendship, and love that permeate their lives.

Among Carlo's circle of friends are Paolo, Adriano, and Alberto. These secondary characters are central to the film's portrayal of male camaraderie and the shared anxieties of the contemporary man. Paolo is a bachelor who envies the stability of his friends' lives while remaining wary of commitment. Adriano is a new father who feels overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenthood. Alberto, too, is touched by the fear of growing up and the temptation of infidelity as an escape from the mundane.

The storyline masterfully weaves together moments of levity with emotional depth, employing a soundtrack that augments the various emotional beats of the film. Each character's vignette is a piece of the larger tapestry, with everyone confronting the universal themes of love, loyalty, ambition, and the inevitability of change.

The film's portrayal of the perennial youth-versus-responsibility theme is rooted in the Italian context, with cultural nuances and the beauty of Italy serving as a backdrop for the unfolding drama. There's an intrinsic reflection on Italian societal expectations, familial bonds, and the sometimes competing desires for independence and security.

The Last Kiss garnered significant attention upon its release, piercing through the conventions of romantic dramas by offering a multifaceted look at the human condition, without succumbing to the temptation of clichéd resolutions. Notably, the film does not provide easy answers for its characters. Instead, it invites viewers to contemplate the authenticity and courage it takes to confront life's crossroads.

Gabriele Muccino's direction is at once sensitive and unflinching, pushing the boundaries of romantic storytelling to new heights. He crafts each scene with a deliberate care that focuses on the subtleties of human interaction, while the script by Muccino delivers dialogue that is both natural and evocative. The actors deliver compelling performances that bring authenticity and complexity to their roles, further enchanting the audience with their portrayal of life’s messy and poignant moments.

Reflecting on universal themes while fully grounded in its cultural setting, The Last Kiss is a story about the moments that define us, the fears that paralyze us, and the love that both anchors and frees us. It takes viewers on an emotional journey through the lives of characters who are, in many ways, a mirror to us all—their experiences echoing the timeless dance of human relationships. It is a cinematic exploration that ultimately reveals that the search for happiness, the fear of commitment, and the quest for personal fulfillment are fundamentally intertwined.

The Last Kiss achieved significant critical acclaim in Italy and abroad, gaining a reputation as a poignant and honest examination of the complexities of modern life and relationships. With its distinct Italian flavor, universal appeal, and rich storytelling, this film remains a significant entry in the landscape of early 21st-century cinema.

The Last Kiss
The Last Kiss doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (8,767)
  • Metascore