Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|One Last Thing |
Actors: Dana Eskelson, Gina Gershon, Ethan Hawke, Cynthia Nixon, Michael Rispoli
Director: Alex Steyermark
The premise sounds like the most crass 1980s teen sex comedy imaginable: A teenage boy dying of cancer makes a last wish to spend a weekend alone with a supermodel. Yet One Last Thing... is neither crass nor a sex comedy, ... more »
Cynthia Nixon and Michael Angarano Shine in this Tender Stor
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The concept for this little Indie film - the dying wish of a teenager opening spiritual doors - is far from original, but Barry Stringfellow's strong script as directed by Alex Steyermark (whose only other directorial venture was 'Prey for Rock and Roll', though he has been on the crew of some very fine films like 'Pieces of April' etc) results in a far from ordinary drama. For those who have not seen Cynthia Nixon expand beyond her 'Sex and the City' role, this performance will be enlightening!
Dylan (Michael Angarano) is a young teenager diagnosed with terminal cancer, a fact that he shares with his loony buddies (Gideon Glick and Matt Bush) who support him with silly but genuine companionship. Dylan's mother Carol (Cynthia) is still reeling from her husband's death (Ethan Hawke) and facing the loss of the one remaining part of her family is devastating but her strength of character keeps a positive support for Dylan. When Dylan is informed by his doctor (Brian Stokes Mitchell) that further radiation and chemotherapy are useless, Dylan places his desire for living on one last thing...he is on a TV show where dying wishes are granted, and rather than the asking for expected fishing trip with football hero Jason (Johnny Messner), he opts for a weekend alone with supermodel Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey). Nikki, we discover, has problems and demons of her own and her agent Arlene (Gina Gershon), in trying to rescue her faltering career, advises the reluctant Nikki to visit Dylan in his home in Pennsylvania - for positive PR purposes. Once they meet Dylan is determined to have his one last thing, gains money and a room (a gift from Jason) in New York and travels with his sidekicks to the Big Apple to cash in on his prize. The Nikki he finds is the wasted girl down at heels and though she feels tenderness toward Dylan she tells him to just go home. Dylan's disease progresses to the point of final hospitalization when Nikki re-enters the sad room and changes things.
The power that changes this predictable story lies in the extraordinarily sensitive performances of Michael Angarano, who plays Dylan with a twinkle in his eye and allows us to feel his burden without resorting to bathos, and the always-impressive Cynthia Nixon whose performance as Dylan's mother is the most understated and heart wrenching on film. She owns the screen whenever she is on. The supporting cast is strong (though Gideon Glick and Matt Bush are allowed to become obnoxious and would have benefited from some stronger direction). In all, this is a striking, simple, compelling film that rises well above its premise to become an important statement about death and dying and the power of hope and love and family. Grady Harp, May 06"
I've seen this four times
ginger s | manhattan beach, california | 06/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And it keeps getting better. I, too, thought the premise was an eye-roll. and the poster didn't help. but from the opening credits til the last, great closing credits song by wyclef jean, i found a sweet, smart, sad, and very funny movie. the writing is amazing. my teenage brothers were stunned, and thrilled, to find realistic teen dialogue and comraderie. and on top of that, they all admitted getting teary eyed, right along with me. as a mom, i was slayed by the scenes with cynthia nixon and michael angarano. there are so many lessons and wisdom to be heard here.cool, if you're into that. if, instead, you just want to watch a really entertaining movie with a great soundtrack and sublime acting, see "one last thing...""
Laughter through tears...
wildflower93 | Portland, ME | 06/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD cover does a great disservice to this memorable indie film. It is as if whoever designed it hadn't even seen the film. Sadly I think many folks are going to pass this gem by - mistakingly thinking is is some bubble gum/locker room teen flick. It is not. This is the most beautiful movie I have seen in a very long time. I cried... I laughed... I really never wanted it to end. I can't wait to share it with the people closest to me. Barry Stringfellow's script feels personal and full of heart as well as being well-paced and emotionally powerful. Wow! Would love to meet that guy! The quality of the direction and acting did this script justice. Michael Angarano knocked me out - he is going places. I had never liked Cynthia Nixon, so I expected an average performance. I was so wrong! She portrayed a woman in an unthinkable life tragedy with such depth, bringing life and poignant originality to a character who could have so easily been overplayed. There is a hauntingly beautiful song at the end - Wyclef Jean's Heaven's in New York. I need to find this. In conclusion, One Last Thing was/is a perfect surprise. The skillful balance between pure comedy and real tragedy was what will stay with me.... Please see this tender film, and share it."
Exquisitely crafted and heartwarming surprise
larry-411 | Philadelphia, PA United States | 12/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since the earliest days of theater, tragedy and comedy often go hand-in-hand, and it's at the heart of this story. As they say, "you'll laugh, you'll cry." The power of this film comes from the script by Barry Stringfellow and a brilliant cast, led by Michael Angarano. Arguably the most sought-after teenage actor in America, Angarano is finally beginning to tackle some powerful leading roles. As Sky High's Will and Lords of Dogtown's Sid we saw just a hint of the powerful range of Angarano's abilities, and in One Last Thing he uses both his comedic talents as well as dramatic ones in a way that we haven't really seen before. If you liked Sid, you'll love Dylan.
Angarano has an uncanny ability to make us laugh when we want to cry and to make us cry when we want to laugh. It's a real gift, and one which is evident in films like Dear Wendy and Lords of Dogtown. But here is able to use that gift from opening to closing credits. Anyone who has seen his films will not be surprised at how elegantly he slips into this character, but no doubt others who are not as familiar with his body of work will discover what many already know.
To say that this is a film about a boy's carnal desires in his last days is to miss the point. Even more than that, One Last Thing is about coping with loss - a son's loss of his father and a mother's loss of her son. It's also about the search for love. "Carpe diem," if you will. The mother here is Cynthia Nixon, who is absolutely heartbreaking in a performance that can only come from deep within. This is a role that lesser actors would find daunting. Who among us hasn't experienced a similar loss? On the other hand, nothing can compare to seeing your child go before you do.
The "love object" (of Dylan - there are others here) is played by Sunny Mabrey. She is the image that has been but a poster on his wall, and his quest to fulfill his dream is only as powerful in its resolution as Mabrey is in her ability to make a petulant supermodel a sympathetic character. But she pulls it off effortlessly. Dylan's partners in crime are his two best buds, Slap and Ricky (Gideon Glick and Matt Bush), who provide much of the comic relief in what would otherwise have threatened to be a heavy-handed statement on death and spiritual belief. Their lines elicit the most laughs and the fact that these were two "real" teenagers, both acting in their first film, gives their performances a ring of truth which more jaded veterans might actually have had to fight to find.
But what struck me more than anything was just how incredibly economical Steyermark and editor Michael Berenbaum are in their work. This is one of the most efficiently constructed films I've ever seen. The tendency lately seems to be to build slowly, sometimes spending up to a third of the film on character development before you begin to see the story unfold. Not here. The basic plot is presented in the very first scene, literally in the opening minutes of the film. From that point on not a moment is wasted - not a shot, not a line, not a frame. Every second here is valuable to the story and yet nothing feels rushed. What a breath of fresh air this was in a season of pretentious, "look-at-me-I'm-an-indie-filmmaker" projects.
Don't let the "teen sex comedy" cover fool you. This is a dark comedy in the true sense of the word, packed with the kind of gallows humor that is made especially poignant when the subject is a high school kid. I was moved by One Last Thing, and it will leave you thinking - in my book, the definition of a film that has hit its mark."