Last Night review

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Poor, poor Keira. You’d think her yuppie English fashion writer, Joanna, would be happy with her upscale New York lifestyle, inconceivably spacious apartment and hunky Aussie husband (Sam Worthington). Alas, no.

Convinced her hubby’s got the hots for his sultry co-worker, Laura (Eva Mendes), Joanna is tempted by old beau Alex (Guillaume Canet) when her spouse and Laura head off for an overnight business trip in Philadelphia.

It’s only a matter of time before Joanna or her other half caves, but who will give in first, and with whom?

Here are a few things about Last Night. It’s written and directed by Massy Tadjedin, who penned Knightley’s underrated time-travel tale The Jacket. It’s co-produced by Satsuki Mitchell, Daniel Craig’s ex. And it is edited by one Susan E Morse, better known for her long association with Manhattan misery-guts Woody Allen.

All of the above is infinitely more interesting than the movie itself; a glum, navel-gazing affair that asks us to invest in self-absorbed protagonists living absurdly narcissistic lives. “I’ve got to finish that accessories piece!” moans Joanna ahead of an arduous day that sees her lightly tapping on a MacBook Air, popping out for coffee and painting her toenails.

The night, meanwhile, sees her mooning around the Village with gorgeous Guillaume, an evening that involves dinner with a knowing acquaintance (Griffin Dunne), taking a pal’s pooch for a walk and dewy-eyed reminiscences of happier times.

Down in Philly the co-workers end up raiding the mini-bar, stripping down to their undies and going for a nocturnal dip in the hotel pool. “You can be happy and still be tempted!” he explains, though it’s hard to read guilt – or any other emotion come to that – in that expressionless physiognomy.

And so it continues, meandering towards a potentially literal climax that’s impossible to care about. Small wonder the dog looks so sleepy.

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Freelance Writer

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.