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THE LAST KISS

About The Film
For Zach Braff, star of the new film "The Last Kiss” from DreamWorks Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment, the film seemed to be a natural progression from his role in his acclaimed film "Garden State.” "Whereas ‘Garden State' was about being lost and confused in your mid-20s, this film is about being lost and confused as you turn 30,” says Braff. "The film is about turning a major corner in your life: settling down and starting a family, while still clutching on to everything that was free, innocent, and fun about being young.”

Tony Goldwyn, who explored similar themes in "A Walk on the Moon,” directs the film. "What we had the opportunity to do with ‘The Last Kiss' was to make a comic drama about contemporary relationships that's really funny, very sexy, and, most importantly, real,” enthuses Goldwyn. "The screenplay takes a refreshing and rather edgy look at the ideals we have about what we imagine we want in our life partners, how we see our lives going, and what we expect to achieve at various stages of our lives. Somehow life never quite works out like the ideal we envision. What do you do when life happens to you?”

"The Last Kiss” began life as the Italian film "L'Ultimo Bacio.” Nominated for 10 Davids (Italy's Oscar®), including Best Film, and winner of five, the film had a profound effect on Lakeshore Entertainment's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. "Two people told me about the Italian film in the same week – in fact, one was Jacinda Barrett, who would have a role in ‘The Last Kiss,” recalls Rosenberg. "I thought of it as a coming of age film. When I was a kid, people faced adulthood at 20 or 21, but these kids in the movie are 29 going on 30, which I think is the new coming of age; it seems there's a bit of a prolonged adolescence today. ‘L'Ultimo Bacio' dealt with a lot of issues young people face, but no one ever talks about, or they talk about in an idealized, silly way.” "I loved ‘L'Ultimo Bacio,'” says Lucchesi, "and unlike many foreign films it seemed to lend itself naturally to an American remake. I found the subject matter really fascinating and the content seemed to have an American style to it.” 

Once Lakeshore had acquired the rights to the Italian film, the next step was to develop the screenplay. "Paul Haggis was really the key,” adds Lucchesi. "We'd worked with Paul before on the Lakeshore film ‘Autumn in New York' and we thought he'd be perfect for this material. We were right. He adapted the screenplay for us and really nailed it. Subsequently, through our relationship with Paul, we heard that he'd written this movie ‘Million Dollar Baby' that couldn't get financed. So we got involved with that picture and, of course, it was a big Academy Award®-winner, including a Best Picture Oscar®.”

"For ‘The Last Kiss,' I was most interested in what our lead character, Michael, was going through,” explains Lucchesi. "That was something that I could relate to from a first hand point of view. Also, as a father of two daughters, I imagined what kind of scene would occur if a father had to encounter a future son-in-law who had cheated on his daughter. I thought that would be a very interesting and sort of remarkable encounter.

"I also loved the message,” continues Lucchesi. "Temptation is all around us; it's how we deal with it and what lessons we've learned in the past that's important. Quite often, we have to learn those lessons on our own. We can get advice from other people, but the advice they offer they've learned from the experiences that they have had.”

To direct the film, the producers turned to Tony Goldwyn, who had previously shown a light touch and sensitivity with similar themes in his 1999 movie, "A Walk on the Moon.” "Tony really responded to the screenplay,” recalls Rosenberg. "Gary and I thought he was the perfect choice for the material; when you meet him, he's an intelligent, well-constructed, mature individual

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