Monday, June 4, 2012

Last Night (2010)

Married couple Joanna (Keira Knightley) and Michael (Sam Worthington) attend a Last Nightparty where Joanna notices he and his colleague, Laura (Eva Mendes), share an attraction. Learning that they are off on a business trip the next day leads to a quarrel. They sleep separately. They put a band-aid on it. Joanna is stung but decides to trust Michael.

That same morning, Joanna takes a break from writing to pick up coffee. She runs into former flame Alex (dishy Guillaume Canet). He’s in town one more night before he returns to Paris. They dine with Alex’s friends, reminisce, walk a dog, flirt, attend a party. Their chemistry is palpable. They discuss what went wrong; they share unresolved feelings.

The movie cuts between Joanna and Alex & Laura and Michael. In Philadelphia, Laura makes clear her attraction. Michael says little but stares like a starving dog. The Michael/Laura storyline isn’t as compelling as Joanna/Alex. Worthington’s Michael and Mendes’s Laura are boring, 1-D characters. She wants him. He wants her but he’s lamely trying to resist his urges (until he no longer does).

Issues: Alex running into Joanna is too convenient, especially on the heels of Joanna and Michael’s fight. Joanna offers to mind Michael’s co-worker’s dog the night before the business trip. He takes her up on it but by that time, wouldn’t he have had something lined up? How do Joanna and Michael afford this loft space on one salary? They’re wee details but they beg the questions.

Last Night is talky. It delves into a relationship that didn’t make it and another that might not survive. The Joanna/Alex storyline has depth and their activities are better than Laura and Michael’s silly pool scene. The party Joanna and Alex attend looks like great fun. In the end, we know little about Joanna and Michael. What brought them together? Do they have the wherewithal to work through this?

Despite not knowing what happens, I liked the ending. Does she come clean to Michael about Alex? Does she leave Michael to work through her feelings about Alex? Does she complete her novel in Paris? Do they pretend nothing happened? Go toward the light, Jo.

Writer/Director: Massy Tadjedin

Country: USA

Genre: Drama

Run time: 93 minutes

Scale: 3