Friday, September 21, 2007

From Supermodels
to Skateboards

Every once in awhile two editors will unknowingly assign the same review to different writers. But, to
quote Highlander, there
can only be one, and I just noticed that the Amazon editorial review for the following was penned by another contributor.
Since I (also) took the time to cover it, my piece now lives here.

(Alex Steyermark, US, 2005, 93 mins.)

A comedy about terminal illness is bound to be a risky proposition. Thankfully, One Last Thing... skips past the
symptoms, the diagnosis, and the tears straight to the final
wish of pot-smoking 16-year-old Dylan (Michael Angarano,
also cast as a terminally ill teen in Lords of Dogtown). The
comedy, incidentally, isn't broad, while the marijuana is
medicinal (though healthy pals Ricky and Slap also partake).

When United Gift Givers offer to fulfill Dylan's deepest desire,
“The Wish Kid,” as he becomes known, requests a weekend with supermodel Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey). He doesn't mind the newfound fame, but it makes his widowed mother, Karen (Sex
and the City's Cynthia Nixon), uncomfortable (an un-credited Ethan Hawke portrays his father in flashbacks). She just wants
to spend some quality time with her son while she still can.

As for Nikki, she isn't the golden girl her image would indicate. Actually, the model has an attitude problem, so her agent, Arlene (Bound's Gina Gershon), insists Nikki meet the kid to generate some positive press. Her plan works, but Dylan was hoping for more than just a photo op. He travels to New York to try again.

Directed by Alex Steyermark (Prey for Rock & Roll with Gershon), One Last Thing... neatly dodges the "tasteless" tag, but the balance between comedy and drama is decidedly delicate. With Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime) as Dylan's doctor and Wyclef Jean (the Fugees) as a kindly cab driver.

Endnote: Click here for the Slog post that reminded me
about this film in the first place. As for Angarano, I like the
guy. You may know him best as Jack's son on Will & Grace.
Most recently, he starred in Black Irish, a domestic drama from this year's Seattle International Film Festival. Not a bad little picture, and it looks like it's just been picked up for distribution.

The best place to start with Angarano is probably Lords
of Dogtown
(2005), although Heath Ledger and Into the Wild's Emile Hirsch pretty much steal that particular show. I'm sorry
more people didn't give it a chance. It's one of the rare ultra-mas-
culine movies to be directed by a woman (Thirteen's Catherine Hardwicke). Here's to many more. Picture from Google Images.

10/1 Update: Speaking of Into the Wild, I just caught a
screening yesterday. Wow—it's easily one of the year's best.

No comments: