"Just a Waste of Time"
What You Need To Know:
JUST A KISS is a ridiculous immorality tale. Dag cannot remain faithful to his girlfriend so he pursues woman after woman with disastrous results. His ex-girlfriend, meanwhile, has an affair with a married man. His best friend drowns his sorrow by having sex with the married man’s wife. No one is faithful in JUST A KISS. Due to all the sexual escapades, characters die, so one character asks if he can “take it back.” The movie quickly rewinds to the original infidelity scene. This time, Dag chooses not to bed his buddy’s girlfriend leaving all friendships intact and everyone alive.
JUST A KISS is a humorless, sex-filled farce. The attempts at humor (jokes about suicide, plane crash victims, a woman killed by a speeding van, and jabs at the Church) do not amuse. And, life doesn’t have a “rewind” button. Excessive sex, violence and infidelity neutralize the message that “actions have consequences.” JUST A KISS is also strained to credulity by the flimsy video work and the poor acting of the supporting roles. Discerning viewers are urged not to suffer the consequences of watching this insufferable tale. JUST A KISS is a waste of time.
(RoRoRo, PaPa, LLL, VV, SS, HoHo, NN, A, D, AbAb, OO, M) Strong romantic worldview with characters living hedonistic lives with themes of infidelity, adultery, lying, suicide, revenge and murder; includes 42 obscenities (30 “f-words”) and 6 profanities; violence includes men fighting, woman attacking man, mugging, graphic suicide shown as woman cuts arm with broken bottle (much blood shown), shootings, nurse frightens man to death, assisted suicide (by drug overdose)/murder, woman fantasizes about shooting and killing two strangers, plane crashes (played for comic effect!), woman killed by speeding van (also played for comic effect!), much talk of suicide as solution, and man intentionally drops bowling ball on friend’s foot; brief scenes of homosexual affection and kissing, several brief scenes of woman in bondage, references to “violent sex” used as humor, message implied that rampant sexual activity is normal and commonplace, marriage and true romance mocked, and numerous scenes of infidelity included explicit and implied sex scenes; female and male nudity; drinking; smoking and drug abuse; and, Christianity mocked as woman jokes about crossing herself in church, brief scene of Satanists worshipping and young woman being offered as sexual sacrifice, fortune-telling, lying, and betrayal;
JUST A KISS is a morality tale with no discernible morality. On top of that, the tale is ridiculous. Ron Eldard plays Dag (pronounced “Dog” – Isn’t that funny?). He behaves as if he’s in heat (Isn’t that a riot?). He cannot remain faithful to his girlfriend Halley, played by talented actress Kyra Sedgwick. He ruins his best friend’s life by “cheating” with his buddy’s girlfriend. He pursues one woman after another with disastrous results. His ex-girlfriend, meanwhile, chooses to have an affair with a married man. Dag’s best friend, Peter (Patrick Breen), drowns his sorrow by having sex with the married man’s wife.
No one is faithful in JUST A KISS, a sex-filled farce completely devoid of humor. There are certainly attempts at humor. There are on-screen jokes about suicide, people dying in a plane crash, a woman getting killed by a speeding van, and even jabs at the Church. It’s not fair to call this “dark humor” because it just doesn’t amuse.
As a result of all the sexual escapades, the accidents and the suicide attempts, three characters die. The story seems to be concluding with three funerals (also played for humor), then a character asks if he can “take it back.” Immediately, and rapidly, the movie rewinds back to the original scene of infidelity and, this time, Dag chooses not to have JUST A KISS with his best friend’s girlfriend. He surprises himself with his newfound fidelity and leaves without ruining his life and the lives of those around him. The movie concludes with all friendships intact and everyone alive.
Sadly, life does not have a “rewind” button. The actions of these selfish people, in reality, do have consequences. The morality of JUST A KISS is merely manufactured.
Director Fisher Stevens (the likable supporting actor from the TV series EARLY EDITION) teams up with writer/actor Patrick Breen to create JUST A KISS. It’s supposed to be edgy and experimental. It’s supposed to have a message. It’s supposed to be funny. The audience will wish both men had stuck to their acting careers. Director Stevens does employ a technique called “rotomation” which incorporates animation to enhance certain scenes of live action. For a few minutes, it is almost clever. After a while, it is just annoying.
JUST A KISS is also strained to credulity by the flimsy video work (which appears to be designed for the small screen) and the terribly-poor acting of the supporting roles. The writer, not content to tell a traditional linear story, seeks also to justify the lifestyle and behavior of the characters at every turn. Dag rationalizes his pleasure seeking by arguing that “sometimes, it feels like love.” A mother comforts her dying daughter by talking about her own trysts and adds a comment about the girl’s “father… whoever he was.” Unfortunately, these humorless lines are played for laughs.
The deeper issues addressed by JUST A KISS might be thoughtfully considered by an audience, but the movie tries too hard to be funny and insightful. Consequently, the movie is neither. Eventually, the story collapses under the weight of its own inflated self-righteousness and morality.
The message of JUST A KISS, that actions have consequences, is completely neutralized by the excessive sex, violence and infidelities. Discerning viewers are urged not to suffer the consequences of watching this insufferable tale. JUST A KISS is just a waste of time.