You're 30 and you're dying... what would you do?
~Pamela~ | Colorado USA | 02/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah left her father and Scotland behind when she moved to America to pursue her career. She also left behind Sam, her first love. Now Sarah -- dying of a brain tumor -- must return home and face her biggest challenge: to die with dignity knowing you've made peace with your past. But things have never been easy for Sarah -- her father vegetates in his chair withdrawn from life, Sam is married, and the other cancer victims in Sarah's support group sometimes help her and sometimes scare her.
How do you go back and make amends before you die? Does your need to set the past right take precedence over the lives of people living in the present? This movie doesn't supply easy answers but will make you think about love, life and death.
All the actors are wonderful but I want to single out a youthful Gerard Butler as Sam. His confusion and complicated situation regarding his past with Sarah and his present with his wife is played with heart-breaking sincerity. Warning -- tears may flow...
Butler and the director Vadim Jean are planning to work together again on a movie about Scottish poet Robert Burns and I am looking forward to their reteaming on what should be another heartfelt production."
I hated this movie! Except for Gerry - can't hate Gerry.
Patricia Merry | NY USA | 04/30/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Girl learns that she is dying of a brain tumor so she decides to return to her home town after being away for years. Once home, she lifts her father out of his self induced torpor (commendable), joins a support group (understandable), and wrecks her old boyfriend's marriage (wha...?).
Slightly stupid but studly Sam has a nice business and a solid marriage with a wife who is also his business partner. He seems happy and successful until his old girlfriend reappears in his life. Amazingly, although she has a short time to live, she looks fit and healthy. (She must have had one of those Hollywood cancers, where the victim just gets more beautiful the sicker she becomes - think Ali McGraw in "Love Story.") This vibrant, dying girl has a list of "to do" items, all of which seem to include Sam, never mind his restaurant or his wife.
A personal note here - my brother was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor when he was 48. He did not spend his last year skydiving or trying to reconnect with his old girlfriends, single or married. Instead, he did what he could to make sure that his affairs were in order and that his family was provided for. He did his best to create memories of a solid, sweet guy who thought more of those around him than of himself. And his body was ravaged by chemotherapy, radiation and gamma knife treatments. Only his courage made him beautiful. He died at 49.
But this dearly dying damsel is so wrapped up in her wants that she ignores the wreck of Sam's marriage and the shattered wife he abandons. And Sam! Sam needs a good swift kick. Maybe his marriage wasn't to his "one twu wuv." but his wife trusted and depended on him. As a result, she is made out to be the villain of the piece and actually spits on darling dying Dora. (In her place, I'd have given the nearly departed a knuckle sandwich.)
On the plus side, the movie showcases some lovely scenery, not the least of which is Gerard Butler. The man is smokin'! But the moral of the story? "Take whatever you can get and damn the consequences," are not exactly words to live (or die) by."
Lovely, intense little drama... Less than ideal DVD from He
dooby | 08/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I liked this film very much. It's a very intense little drama which will provoke reflection, indignation and much post-viewing discussion, as evidenced by the postings here. What happens when as a fairly successful young woman, you are diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and given just months to live. What happens when as a happily married man, the first "true love" of your life turns up at the door and tells you she's dying and wants to spend her last days with you? What happens when as a happily married woman, your husband's first love turns up and asks to "borrow" your husband for the last weeks of her life? How these people respond is the story of the film and it is gripping from first to last.
The actions of these characters are far from exemplary but they are believable. These are human beings, not saints. Personally I thought the dying young woman's actions were extremely self-centered, insensitive and selfish. She must have known perfectly well that her actions would wreak havoc on her "true love's" marriage. One's imminent death is not a license to ruin other people's lives. The man's response to her proposition is equally disappointing. When your wife makes it crystal clear that she doesn't want you spending time with your ex-lover, irrespective of whether she's dying or not, you do not blissfully ignore her pleas because you coveniently assume you have a "higher" obligation to a dying friend. It may be old fashioned to point out, but a man's first loyalty should be to his spouse, not his "first love." The wife's reponse was to be expected. My sympathies lay with her from the start. She could and should have tried to be more understanding but how understanding can you be with someone who felt every right to take your spouse away and did not look the least bit sickly to boot. Perhaps if her husband had been more trustworthy she could have exhibited more compassion.
The script is good. The acting is equally good. This is an ensemble movie with an excellent all round cast. Gerard Butler's charm and charisma alone saves his character. I vouch that many ladies who defend the husband's actions do so because they see it as defending Gerard Butler. If a lesser actor had taken on the role, they would have been scathing in their condemnations. Valerie Edmund as the dying woman, Sarah, is just as good in winning our affections while at the same time repelling us with her behaviour. Despite my misgivings over her actions, I found her defiant attitude towards impending death heartening, even heroic. I was moved by her final exhortation, "Don't sleepwalk through life..." ending with its famous Dylan Thomas quotation, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Many of the poor ratings for this film come from viewers who are unhappy with the characters' actions. But judging the characters' behaviour and judging the film should be two separate things. I found the characters' conduct less than salutary but I found the film exceptionally good because it was topical, thought-provoking, involving and moving. There are far too few such films being made these days.
Curiously, the film was shot in 2.35:1 widescreen - a very wide aspect ratio usually reserved for Hollywood epics and blockbusters, not for an intimate drama like this. Perhaps the director wanted to showcase the beauty of the Borderland (Scottish Borders). With such a widescreen aspect, Hen's Tooth should have provided an anamorphic transfer (widescreen TV enhancement). Instead they have letterboxed this ultra-widescreen into the standard 4:3 frame leaving viewers with a thin sliver of a ribbon of film to watch. Playback on a newer widescreen TV is less than ideal because it has to be manually magnified resulting in loss of image detail. For a relatively recent film (1998), there is an inordinate amount of white specks appearing on the print. Not enough to mar your enjoyment but irritating nonetheless. Picture quality is as good as you can expect of a non-anamorphic picture (less detail than in an anamorphic transfer). Colours are sufficiently rich and true. Black levels are OK. The Scots accent may be a challenge to some viewers. Unfortunately no subtitles are provided. Aside from the trailer, there are no extras."
Choices that alter life---
M. J. Ward | Heartland Of The USA | 07/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One More Kiss has beautiful cinematography, a lovely score, an interesting premise, and a badly cast role - Sarah (Valerie Edmund).
From our first shot of her on the rooftop with arms outstretched, no matter what the cameraman and director do, they cannot make this into a woman who looks like she is sick, let alone dying. She is too big, strong and healthy. So I cannot feel her pain, sorrow and desparation. In fact, I feel nothing, and that is bad for the role and the movie.
On the other hand, the actress playing the wife, Charlotte (Valerie Gogan) is perfect at showing the panic, resentment and eventual hatred of this interloper in her life. From the very first time she sets eyes on Sarah - in her husband Sams' (Gerard Butler) embrace, even just a friendly one - she is threatened. (As I would have been; confess would YOU come into a room and see your husband with his arms around another woman as just another day at the office?) When Sam introduces them, he even hesitates before he says "my wife." What a slap in the face.
Maybe I'm not seeing the romance in this situation. When Sarah announces she is dying, Sam is nonplused; Charlotte sees trouble. In the real world, right then I would have said, "sorry to hear that and WE will help if WE can. But that's not this movie.
So we have THE LIST for Sam it get through. Which is just a device to be able for Sarah to manipulate Sam into kindling a romance again. And all the singing together, skydiving and kite-flying and lush background music doesn't make it anything but what it is - seduction of another womans husband. Leading to predictable harsh words, fights and tears. But Charlotte loves this man; she hugs his jacket and breathes in his smell; and cries in pain.
Meanwhile, we have brave (?) Sarah planning her funeral down to what will be served at the afterparty! I know this is to show her bravery, but I wanted to tell Sam to run out of that house - he is being manipulated. As is her father. Sarah may not be around much longer, but by God, everyone will remember her! Too harsh? Why does she show up at the restaurant just before Sam is to go meet his wife? Didn't know about the concert? Cummon. His birthday! - she knew. And she didn't care. It was all about her - what she wanted.
And that brings us to the most emotionally satisfying scenes in the film with the most beautiful music - Charlotte in her lovely dress, hair just right, sitting and waiting, waiting, waiting for her love and he never comes. I DO feel HER pain.
Where is Sam? Why getting it on with his other love. Sorry I'm underwhelmed.
The last scenes in the hospital are done well, and Gerry is at his most beautiful and touching. He almost redeems the whole film right there. But not quite, for me at least.
Sarah's father, played by James Cosmo, is very good and the part is to underscore the theme of the film - choices we make that alter life.
Try as I might I just cannot see that the choice to break up your marriage (even if not perfect) for a few weeks of what? bliss? great sex? is worth ruining anothers life and possible your own. The only one who ends satisfied is the interloper who we are to feel sorry for, and I just can't do it.
And, of course, she is gone and I suppose, rests in peace.