Movies that fail part 2Posted: September 14, 2011
Only the unhappy marriages are worth making movies about these days. Though Last Night is not nearly as cynical as Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, a movie that slays you with its lazor beam focus on a corrosive marriage, director/writer Massy Tadjedin does an effective job of making monogamy look tenuous.
An upper-middleclass New York couple (is there any other type?) played by Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington are in what appears to be a successful marriage. They go out to a business party and lo, and behold, Eva Mendes shows up and we are meant to assume that that spells trouble. The couple fight. They make up. He goes to Philadelphia for a meeting and she goes to get coffee. Enter Alex, played by Guilliaume Canet (a deadringer for Patrick Dempsey, and most famous for being one half of France’s Brangelina–the other half is Oscar winner Marion Cottilard).
Tadjedin takes the predictable route of cutting between spouse number one and spouse number two as they wrestle with their tempters.
It gets rather dull, frankly. There’s not enough context for either impending adulterous scenario and characters are sorely underdeveloped especially Eva Mendes’s. In short, it’s hard to care. The only highlight is watching Keira Knightley make the most of her character, embodying her insecurities and her charm in a way that makes her refreshingly recognizable—not as a stock movie character, but as a real, conflicted woman. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to save this placid film.