THE LAST WORD
It’s Never Too Late To Change
Release Date: March 03, 2017
Starring: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda
Seyfried, AnnJewel Lee Dixon,
Thomas Sadoski, Philip Baker
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 108 minutes
Distributor: Bleecker Street Media
Director: Mark Pellington
Executive Producer: Aaron Magnani, Kevin D.
Forester, Phillip B. Goldfine,
Danny Roth, Damiano Tucci
Producer: Kirk D'Amico, Anne-Marie
Mackay, Mark Pellington
Writer: Stuart Ross Fink
Address Comments To:Andrew Karpen, CEO, Bleecker Street Media, LLC
381 Park Ave South, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 951-5700; Website: www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com
Reluctantly, Anne agrees to write the living woman’s obituary, but only after Anne’s boss begs her to in hopes that Harriet might donate some money to keep the paper alive. Anne interviews everybody close to Harriet, but what she learns is this woman was nothing but a hard-headed, tough, self-righteous person. Nobody has anything kind to say about her.
Anne writes a generic obituary and gives it to Harriet to read. Harriet is horrified by how plain it sounds and demands Anne write something inspiring and heartfelt instead. Anne, a passionate writer and stubborn woman herself, refuses to write only the truth. Harriet has only one choice: to make her final days on Earth count.
So, Harriet recruits Anne to join her journey to rewrite Harriet’s past. At first, the two women don’t see eye to eye. Anne thinks Harriet is too particular and uptight, while Harriet sees Anne as a moody, immodest lady. Along the way, however, the two women develop an unbreakable friendship.
Anne watches Harriet walk into a radio station and demand to be a disc jockey, her secret dream job. Then, she accompanies Harriet as she walks into a low-income school and recruits a fatherless, low-income, African-American child to help mentor. Finally, she watches as Harriet calls up her ex-husband and daughter to make amends. Through these interactions, Anne develops respect and adoration for Harriet. Anne, whose mother left when she was a baby, gains confidence and a new feeling of self-worth after Harriet pushes her to be better, put herself out there, and never take no for an answer.
Despite some cheesy lines and predictable scenes, THE LAST WORD is an engaging comedy with a stellar performance by Shirley MacLaine. The ending is uplifting and rather moving. Although the subject matter is heavy, the use of some witty lines, lighthearted music, and scenes involving an upbeat road trip, dancing and diner scenes give the movie a light-hearted spirit. Ultimately, the filmmakers remind viewers life is short, but it’s never too late to change, repent and forgive. This positive message gives the movie a strong Christian, moral worldview overall that promotes the value of prayer to help people get through tough times. The movie also includes some other Christian references and content. However, THE LAST WORD sadly contains an excessive amount of foul language. That language, the references to suicide in the beginning and some excessive drinking warrant an extreme caution for THE LAST WORD. A few changes would have made THE LAST WORD more accessible to family audiences, and given it a better chance of making more money.
THE LAST WORD is an engaging comedy with a stellar performance by Shirley MacLaine. Although the story is sometimes predictable, the filmmakers use witty lines, lighthearted music and upbeat scenes to inject a lighthearted spirit. The story reminds viewers that life is short, but it’s never too late to change, repent and forgive. It has a strong Christian, moral worldview promoting forgiveness through Jesus, love, compassion, selflessness, and prayer. However, THE LAST WORD contains excessive foul language (including a few “f” words), drinking scenes and references to suicide in the beginning, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.