Written by: Barry Stringfellow
Directed by: Alex Steyermark
Starring: Michael Angarano, Sunny Mabrey, Cynthia Nixon
- Outtakes/Alternate Takes
- Higher Definition: One Last Thing … Episode
- Commentary from director Steyermark
Released by: Magnolia
My Advice: Catch It On Cable
It is a common belief that all teenage boys have on their minds is sex. Well, sixteen-year-old Dylan (Angarano) shows how true that belief is. Suffering from terminal cancer, he states that he wants his ‘last wish’ to be a weekend alone with supermodel Nikki Sinclaire (Mabrey). The charity organization and Dylan’s mom (Nixon) is a little nonplussed by the indelicate nature of the request. But Nikki’s agent sees an opportunity to help her client. Nikki is a psycho bitch on wheels and she needs good publicity post haste. While Nikki sees this as some cheap goodwill, Dylan sees a last opportunity to experience some life before it goes away.
[ad#longpost]In these tough economic times, you want value for your money. So One Last Thing…, on the surface, seemd like a good deal for it is not one movie but three. One part a magical-realistic mediation on death and what, if anything, happens afterward; a teenage sex comedy with plenty of marijuana and strippers; and a redemption tale of a beautiful but damaged model. Unfortunately, the whole is less than the sum of its parts. The main problem is one of tone. The three main story lines are so different that when you go from one to another, the transition could give you whiplash. You go from the tragic sweetness of Dylan to the pitiable destructiveness of Nikki without any sort of connection between the two. You go from the supposedly deep conversation between Dylan and Wyclef Jean (in the part of taxi driver/Magical Negro) to Dylan and his pals whooping it up in a strip club. There is a complete lack of consistency. It also doesn’t help that the parts are filled with underwhelming cliches. Of course, Dylan is a wise cracking cancer patient wise beyond his years. As Dr. Gregory House elegantly put it, “these cancer kids, you can’t put them all on a pedestal. It’s basic statistics. Some of them have gotta be whiney little fraidy-cats.” Of course Nikki is a self involved emotional messed up narcissist. Aren’t all models?
There were a few bright spots. Michael Angarano gives a human dimension to a character that is a walking cliche. When we cracks jokes about his cancer or being so earnest to Nikki, it does come off as believable. Cynthia Nixon is also does well with the Mom role, a woman who already lost her husband and is slowly losing her child. You can see that she hasn’t quite surrendered to her son’s fate but she hasn’t quite accepted it either. But their performances cannot make up for the uninspired and pedestrian writing and direction of this film. One Last Thing… is more suited for a TV Movie on the Lifetime Channel, not the big screen.
The extras on this disc are plentiful but underwhelming. There are some throwaway deleted scenes, but seriously why bother. Then there’s an episode of HDNet’s in house ‘entertainment news’ program, Higher Definition. This is simply a promotional vehicle for HDNet movies disguised as their version of Entertainment Tonight. Filled with how great this movie was to make and happy interviews with the stars, this is simply a video version of a press release. Then there is the commentary from director Steyermark. I really think they need to give people who give commentaries some sort of speech training. He talks in such a bland monotone that you really don’t get a sense of the excitement someone should get (you would think, anyway) about making a movie. The information he imparts is about as exciting as his tone. He either talks bits of trivia about the shooting of a scene or gushes over how great his stars were. Now he could really feel this way about his cast, but after hearing so many directors say how wonderful everyone was, it gets old. The bits of knowledge he drops could have easily been in some sort of in-screen pop-up format. I’m sorry, but sometimes you really don’t need a commentary. On all counts One Last Thing… underwhelms. If you catch it on HDNet, cool. But don’t bother otherwise.