You’ve lost that loving acting
THE MAKERS of Last Night, a tepid relationship drama with ideas above its station, would probably regard it as a compliment to be thought of as borderline French. They should think again.
This is the sort of film that – like too many bourgeois Gallic dramas – thinks itself sophisticated because the characters wear dark suits and say stuff like “what I wouldn’t give to have tired of you”. In truth, it’s no more emotionally layered than I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington play a drained couple (she’s a “writer”, he’s a property magnate) living at a fashionably miserable address in New York’s SoHo. The picture begins with them falling out over Sam’s supposed affection for a glamorous colleague (Eva Mendes). They eventually reach an understanding.
The next day, while Sam flits about Philadelphia with Eva, Keira renews an acquaintance with an ex-lover from Paris (a perfunctory Guillaume Canet). The film cuts between the two liaisons while man and wife drift towards inevitable infidelities.
As ambient mood music to lull viewers into slumber, Last Night works rather well. Clint Mansell’s score is happy to loll between two or three unthreatening piano chords. Knightley’s performance consists of mumbles interspersed with that characteristic gape-mouthed smile of astonishment. Unusually for the star of Avatar and Terminator Salvation, Worthington gets through whole paragraphs of dialogue without flinging a robot from a skyscraper.
As the colourless dialogue and flat images lead us towards nothing like a climax, the film struggles hard to justify its existence. Perhaps the hollow script is attempting to satirise the emptiness of the characters’ hip lifestyles. If so, a degree of humour might be in order.
As it stands, the experience is like being trapped in a lift with four shop-window mannequins. They are, mind you, mannequins from a very nice store. But that doesn’t make their shiny stasis any less deadening.
I’m just not that into you: Worthington and Knightley attempt to keep each other awake Directed by Massy Tadjedin. Starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet