The Last Kiss
A little context before I start praising The Last Kiss:
1. Garden State was pretty much my favorite movie of 2004;
2. I'm a total sucker for romantic comedies and love stories (happy and/or sad), and there are SO few good ones that come out each year;
3. I saw it yesterday afternoon, alone, in the rain and gloom.
So despite the generally bad reviews, I was totally predisposed for two hours of love and heartbreak, laughter and tears. And for me, the movie delivered: I laughed, I cried, I got pissed off at the guys' inexcusable behavior, I laughed and cried some more, I wished and wished and wished...
The plot here is basically about four men hitting 30 and dealing poorly, selfishly, immaturely with their very different relationships and life situations. Paul Haggis, of Crash and Million Dollar Baby fame, is generous with his script, and most of the eight or so main characters get at least a few good lines. Director Tony Goldwyn (who also did the great A Walk on the Moon), juggles the storylines nicely. And the cast as a whole is attractive and charismatic, led by Garden State star Zach Braff, who (nearly?) destroys the best thing in his life with a stupid, panic-induced infidelity; Lucinda Barret as Jenna, his newly-pregnant girlfriend whose evocation of the pain and emotional wreckage caused by Braff's lies and betrayal is dignified and dead-on; Rachel Bilson as the home-wrecking college student who can't see past her own immediate desires to the larger harm she's contributing to; and the ever-reliable Tom Wilkinson and Blythe Danner as Jenna's parents.
Like I said: I laughed; I cried.
If you think you'll like this movie, you probably will.