You’ve lost that lov­ing acting

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews -

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

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