"Waiting 'Round to Die"
ONE LAST THING. . . follows a terminally ill teenager determined to make the most of his last few days alive. With a plot continuously rotating between moments of dark comedy and dramatic tragedy, the movie’s few endearing moments are overshadowed by an empty, live-for-today desperation.
The movie opens with 16-year-old Dylan Jemesion (Michael Angarano) hanging out in his bedroom with his two best friends Slap (Gideon Glick) and Ricky (Matt Bush). Cancer-stricken Dylan is sharing a self-medicated marijuana cigarette with his cohorts and discussing his last wish, which is to be granted by the United Wish Givers charity. Much to the delight of his sex-hungry chums, he has decided to change his original request, that was a fishing trip with football star Jason O’Malley (Johnny Messner), to a weekend alone with supermodel Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey). When Dylan announces this far-fetched wish at a press conference, it not only leaves the United Wish Givers scrambling, but it also turns Dylan into a media sensation of sorts. He becomes known as the “Wish Kid” by people all over the country.
Nikki Sinclair, meanwhile, is spinning in the fast lane of self-destruction. After a divorce, several arrests, and her supermodel stock steadily decreasing, Nikki spends her time popping pills and downing scotch whiskies in the dim half-lights of New York City’s chic night clubs. On the verge of dropping her reckless client, Nikki’s agent (Gina Gershon) sees Dylan’s request as a timely PR opportunity to clean her client’s image.
After an awkward visit to Dylan’s house (with time only allowing for a quick photo-shoot), Nikki leaves Dylan her phone number and solemnly jets back to New York. Dylan realizes his days are numbered, however. He and his buddies decide to go to New York and track Nikki down, which leads to a series of misadventures and fish-out-of-water scenarios.
ONE LAST THING. . . is both heartbreaking and unsatisfying. Michael Angarano’s angst-ridden performance is convincing, and the interaction with his friends and mom is often funny and engaging. Ethan Hawke also does a great job playing Dylan’s deceased father, who appears to him in daydreams and a videotaped rite-of-passage speech.
Christian viewers, however, will likely find Dylan’s vacant attempts at living before he dies depressing. He rejects the ideas of heaven and God, calling them “worthless rumors.” Furthermore, the movie’s only Christian character is an overly-aggressive proselytizer spewing venomous, fire and brimstone sermons. By contrast, other characters urging Dylan to consider the afterlife preach about the false Hindu god _iva. Unlike the judgmental Christian, these characters exemplify sincerity, compassion and love.
There’s also plenty of content in ONE LAST THING. . . that Christians may find offensive, including strong foul language, sexual content, drug use, homosexuality, and other immoral, pagan elements. These excessive content issues make ONE LAST THING. . . a movie to avoid.
(PaPa, H, FRFR, Ab, B, Ho, LLL, V, SS, N, AA, DD, M) Strong pagan worldview with plot focusing on pleasure-seeking teenagers and some humanist elements from character who doesn’t believe in life after death, some strong false religious elements including several references to reincarnation and the Hindu goddess _iva, and anti-Christian elements including portrayal of a holier-than-thou, mean-spirited Christian attempting to proselytize to a dying teenager, plus some strong biblical elements including many moments of love and compassion, and a couple minor male homosexual characters as well as a scene in which two women kiss; 55 profanities including many ‘f’ words and seven mostly strong profanities; a couple of scenes of mild violence including a teenager destroying a malfunctioning VCR and a brief fighting scene; two women kiss, many discussions of sex, a couple minor male homosexual characters, and implied fornication; several scenes of women in skimpy clothing as well as upper male nudity in a naturalistic context; several scenes of alcohol use plus one character that abuses alcohol and drinks to drunkenness; several scenes of smoking marijuana and cigarettes as well as one character frequently taking pills; and, theft, jealousy, and rude behavior.
ONE LAST THING. . . follows a terminally ill teenager determined to make the most of his last few days alive. A charity agrees to grant cancer-stricken Dylan his last wish, which is a fishing trip with his favorite football star. At the press conference, however, Dylan changes his mind. He wants to spend a weekend with supermodel Nikki Sinclair. The wish leaves the charity scrambling, but delights his friends. As his short life winds to a quickly approaching halt, Dylan and his two best buddies venture to New York City to try to make his dreams come true before his death.
ONE LAST THING. . . is both heartbreaking and unsatisfying. Michael Angarano's angst-ridden performance is convincing, and the interaction with his friends and mom is often funny and engaging. The plot continuously rotates between moments of dark comedy and dramatic tragedy. The movie's few endearing moments are overshadowed by an empty, live-for-today desperation. Christian viewers will find Dylan's vacant attempts at living before he dies and his rejection of Christianity, dismal. The movie also contains plenty of strong foul language, sexual content, drug use, homosexual references, and other immoral, pagan elements.