The film "Last Night" went straight to DVD here in Australia. A lot of films do that, whilst they appreciate an audience at a cinema in the US, some miss out down under. Nevertheless, this quaint 93minute drama had some very good actors, a good script and it was really quite a well made piece of film. I can't really fault anything. Except the subject matter. And...I guess the fact that there has already been something released along this nature eight years earlier which was based on a somewhat infamous play, which was provoking, raw and uninhibited I guess it set the bench mark for any film or story within that topic area. I speak of 2004's screen adaptation of Patrick Marber's play, "Closer".
Unfortunately, for the entire duration of "Last Night" I couldn't help but hark back to Marber's play. Whilst Marber's play focussed on the relationship conflicts and complications between all four protagonists, Massy Tadjedin's "Last Night" only develops and depicts the story from the narrative point of view of the main couple - the couple that has been together for over seven years. Massy's story (as she also wrote this film) was believable, real and moving but it was also predictable. You knew from the title that one of them was going to "muck up", you knew it was either going to be the husband away on the business trip with the sexy co-worker or the wife who was stuck at home, whom all-too-coincidentally bumps into an old flame. Which one? Which one?
I preferred Marber's "Closer" not because of the partner swapping aspect but because he examined and delved into each character's internal conflicts and issues equally. I shouldn't be comparing the two films but I just could not help it I guess, given the subject matter.
Massy's film was well executed - she did not put a foot wrong in how the story was wielded onscreen. The only thing that disappointed me (apart from the rather abrupt ending) was the fact that I kept thinking about Patrick Marber's play...
Needless to say, comments regarding the film's stars - Keira Knightly as usual was just luminous onscreen. The camera loves her, let's not lie. Her performance was good - it was accurate. No surprises there. Sam Worthington who played her husband was also good - accurate. Again no surprises there. I did like how both actors were allowed to use their natural accents in this film (no forced Americanism there). At least that added to the believability. How an Australian and an Englishwoman ended up in New York together who knows? But okay, I guess we are living in a globalized world.
Eva Mendés played the part of Laura, the co-worker who leads Knightly's husband astray and she did a good job. On the flip side, Frenchman Guillaume Canet also did a good job playing the brooding love-torn French ex-boyfriend well. All actors in this film "did good". No need to elaborate further really.
I wouldn't recommend this film if you were looking for some entertainment on DVD night...this is probably something someone would watch if they were alone, or with a close friend. It's not a couple's film - neither is Patrick Marber's "Closer".
On all accounts, this film gets 5/10 - all points are for the quality of film making because it was very well done. It loses out because there is still that memory of Marber's screen adapted play that is still all too strong...