I watched the movie The Last Kiss last night expecting something similar to Garden State, a movie I loved. Zach Braff stars in it and I really like his acting. I was expecting another quirky comedy with a great soundtrack but it is no comedy. It does have a great soundtrack though. Interestingly it had a lot to say about twenty-something adults refusing to grow up.
It is the story of Michael, a 29 year old, successful architect, with a beautiful girlfriend. He's got three great friends he's known all his life and his life is turning out pretty much the way he expected. When his girlfriend Jenna becomes pregnant though he has a crisis and begins to flirt with disaster with a young college student. His friends are equally challenged when it comes to being a grown up. One has a job to support his drinking and sex life. One wants out of his marriage because life is tough with a new baby. And one quits the family business to drive to Mexico.
I liked the movie in a lot of ways. Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner play Jenna's parents and they are really good. They've been married, unhappily it seems, for 30 years and have a crisis to coincide with Michael's. In nice contrast to the young 'ens they maturely address all their problems and make a new start in the space of a day. Okay, I said I like their acting, I didn't say the story line was believable.
All through the movie, however, I kept thinking of young couples I know, some with young children, who are so different than this group. They don't see marriage and parenthood as the end of fun and beginning of a boring life. They make sacrificial decisions for the sake of their families and they delight in each other. Even if some of them have had difficulties figuring out what to do with their work lives they have healthy personal relationships.
Maybe that is the side to the Globe and Mail article that is missing. I do know many young adults who struggle with what to do with their education, what kind of work to pursue, and the economic realities of the burden of student loans. But many of these same young adults have made relationships a high priority and in some cases they are also looking for ways to express themselves creatively or to live more simply than the culture tells them they should.
Anyone have any suggestions of movies that depict young adults making those kind of choices?