"YOU! Make Me Happy . . . Now!"
In THE LAST KISS, an Italian movie, Carlo’s life is thrown into a tailspin when his longtime girlfriend, Giulia, becomes pregnant and he is faced with the prospect of actually growing up. The writer unintentionally gives us a perfect picture of the hopelessness and despair of relativistic thinking, but this insight is lost in the midst of excessive foul language, sex, nudity, drug use, and a strong humanistic worldview.
The handsome and successful thirty-year-old Carlo finds out that his long-term, live-in girlfriend, Giulia, is pregnant, so he reluctantly decides to propose to the woman. At the wedding of a friend who is also “settling down,” Carlo finds himself drawn to a beautiful eighteen-year-old who represents his last chance at freedom before marriage and parenthood forever seal his fate as a “grown up.”
As he is wrestling with ways to justify his lust, his mother-in-law is coming to terms with her impending grand-motherhood and realizes that she needs a good, healthy affair to help her feel young and passionate again. Another friend, whose contentious wife just had a baby and who is not meeting some of his marital needs, also feels the need for freedom, and so does his angry friend who can’t win back his ex-wife. Together with a mutual womanizing, druggie friend, the guys make a plan to run off to Turkey and escape the pressure of life and commitment. After all, they’re not happy anymore!
The guy with the new baby says, as he’s leaving, “This child shouldn’t grow up with parents who hate each other.” The mother-in-law says, “I need to feel alive again.” The angry friend says that he doesn’t want to be stuck in his father’s dead-end business, with life over by forty, and another character says, “Love, life is made of compromise.” Really? Compromise is the answer?
After the lust has been conceived and given birth to sin (see James 1), the story turns when Carlo’s married friend challenges him to believe that “fidelity is the ultimate utopia.” His father-in-law, who has now learned lessons from his wife’s affair, says, “You mustn’t stop being kind and considerate. Never stop believing it will be worth it. Decide that your eternal adolescence is over, and then you will grow up.”
In analyzing THE LAST KISS, it seems rather convenient that Carlo embraces these ideals after his sin has already defiled many people. From whence do these ideals spring? The characters portray lives of moral relativism, which always leads to pessimism and despair, according to Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer. This movie cries, “If it feels good, do it. If you’re unhappy, do anything and everything it takes to make yourself feel better or demand that others do it.”
This is the carnal thought of natural man. No wonder our loving God had to give us a rule book by which to live! How grateful we are that God’s Word contains absolutes that we can take to the bank! And, what the Lord requires, the Lord provides. God would not have ordained the one man/one woman principle if it were not possible to live it, but the characters in THE LAST KISS seemed to know neither this loving God nor His principles for true life and freedom.
At the end of the movie, the protagonist does land on some truths, especially regarding the contentment that comes with family commitment, but his fear continues to compel him to lie, even as he tries for restoration with his “wife.” Too much damage has already been done – very preventable damage. The final shot of the movie shows that, despite Carlo’s positive realization about the benefits of family life, his wife is thinking about having her own affair. Thus, not even the commitment that Giulia says she wants, and finally gets, from Carlo can satisfy. Thus, the ending of the movie validates the sentiment expressed earlier that “Fidelity is the ultimate utopia.”
The themes of this movie bring to mind a profound dictum of marriage counseling, “Love is a decision . . . to commit and endure.” One must wonder, however, if this is possible apart from an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The filmmakers are right in that most people do come to a place of personal crisis, or despair with the mediocrity and lack of passion in their lives, but that simply making a mental decision to commit might not prove to be a lasting solution.
According to Brennan Manning in ABBA’S CHILD, however, the soul of man cries to be ambushed by Jesus of Nazareth, who enables us to reclaim our core identity as lovers of God, beloved of God, abiding in the heart of a God who adores us. No other person, passion or pursuit can ever fill that void.
THE LAST KISS brings viewers excellent acting, an opportunity to practice one’s Italian, (especially the word “bastardo,”) and a realistic portrayal of the meaninglessness of the aging process without the fulfillment of the One True God. It comes with the baggage, however, of too much foul language, sex, nudity, drug use, and a humanist worldview rejecting the spiritual answers that God and Jesus Christ have for our lives.
(HHH, C, LLL, V, SSS, NN, A, DD, M) Relativistic, worldly outlook with not a single absolute to be found with one depiction of Catholic church, prayer, and “Ave Maria” sung, but the church has no effect on anyone’s character; at least 51 obscenities (many “f” words), one strong profanity and two light profanities; violence includes angry slapping, shouting and woman brandishes knife at husband; scenes of depicted fornication, depicted adultery, depicted promiscuity, and implied fornication; brief upper female nudity and ; alcohol use; smoking, marijuana use and cocaine use; and, lying, cheating, betrayal, and being disrespectful to parents.
In THE LAST KISS, 30-year-old Carlo finds out that his girlfriend, Giulia, is pregnant, so he reluctantly decides to propose. At a friend’s wedding, Carlo finds himself drawn to a beautiful, passionate 18-year-old who represents his last chance at freedom. As he tries to justify his lust, his mother-in-law is dealing with her impending grand-motherhood and her own unsatisfactory marriage to a psychologist. Another friend of Carlos, whose contentious wife just had a baby and who is not meeting his emotional needs, also desires freedom, and so does his angry friend who can’t win back his ex-wife. Together with a mutual womanizing, druggie friend, the guys make a plan to run off to Turkey and escape the pressure of life and commitment. After all, they’re not happy anymore!
THE LAST KISS brings viewers excellent acting, an opportunity to practice their Italian, and a realistic portrayal of the meaninglessness of life and love without the fulfillment of the One True God. It comes with the baggage, however, of excessive foul language, sex, nudity, drug use, and a strong humanist worldview that ultimately rejects the possibility that God can fill the void in one’s life