By Hemanth Kissoon
From the writer of The Jacket, I was expecting something special. Certainly ambitious, attempting to analyse romantic fidelity, it doesn’t quite satisfy. With the first viewing it is easy to get seduced by the glamour and beauty on display – the production design is all sleek Manhattan wish-fulfilment property ladder stuff, the outfits effortless designer chic, and the actors providing eye candy catering for many tastes. The second watch brings the flaws already apparent, but originally glossed over for the gloss, to more glaring effect. It doesn’t help that Keira Knightley’s Joanna is married to Sam Worthington’s Michael – two actors who are inconsistently clunky and tediously wooden respectively.
Their three-year marriage is mildly tested after a party, where Joanna’s suspicions are raised over the bond between colleagues – her husband and Laura (Eva Mendes). It triggers some soul searching, and the couple discuss whether they tied the knot too young. He seems to assuage her fears by cooking her some eggs, then heads off for a work trip to Philadelphia with Laura. As soon as Michael leaves, Joanna bumps into an old flame visiting from Paris, Alex (Guillaume Canet), who clearly means something to her. What proceeds is a mini-Odyssey across two cities, looking at two flirtations that are entered into without naivety, and are used to discuss emotional and physical loyalty, along with desire and regret. The movie pops and fizzes with sexual tension, but vanishes from the memory too quickly. If the same level of thoughtfulness that appears to have been applied to The Jacket had been paid to Last Night, we might have had something special.