Michael Angarano and Sunny Mabrey give very winning performances.
This movie does a good job of defying convention... until the end.
What I think I liked the most about One Last Thing... was how it had life in it the whole way. This film about a young man named Dylan (Michael Angarano) whose dying wish is to spend a weekend with the girl of his dreams, model Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey), never becomes that somber piece of filmmaking that dwells on it's characters predicament. In fact, as the story goes on and Dylan, accompanied by two friends, heads to New York in search of Nikki, this film seems to forget about Dylan's dire straits.
This isn't done in a bad way but rather it seems to aspire to be something more than the typical "cancer" film. The fact that the ending sort of plays too much to that tradition is really the only negative part about One Last Thing.... Ultimately, this film, whose premise seems so dark, is actually one of renewed hope and acceptance.
These have titles like "Teacher Teacher," "Cable Access" and "Fashion Stunt." They are shown multiple times because, this being an HDNET Film, I believe the movie was shot in that format. As a result, tape stock isn't as precious as film so they have room to experiment and do as many takes as necessary. While I thought these were interesting, I felt that it was more like watching a bunch of clips explaining the freedom that HD offers, as opposed to anything artistically related to the movie.
Higher Definition: One Last Thing...
Featuring an interview with Michael Angarano and Cynthia Nixon, this is another well put together episode that HDNET conceived for this film. While there isn't anything that special about it, we get to find out about what it was like making this movie and why these actors were attracted to this script. Overall you have to give HDNET credit for creating a series that not only intelligently breaks down their films, but also promotes it in an entertaining way.
Alex Steyermark provides an insightful commentary track here. Right away he lets you know that this screenplay was based on writer Barry Stringfellow's real life experiences dealing with his father who had cancer. I think that makes this film even more impressive because we come to understand where the point of view is coming from. Also, even in the midst of something morbid the director managed to find the human drama and comedy.
1.78:1 - Widescreen. I don't know what I have ever seen a movie from HDNET Films that didn't look good. While at times something that is this slick could actually be a hindrance on some movies, I felt that the the simple look of this film was bolstered by the clearness of all the images. Like the main character, it knows it doesn't have a lot of time so it's got to wade through all things superfluous and focus on what's truly important.
Language: English 5.1 - 2.0 Dolby Digital. Subtitled in Spanish. This is a soundtrack that doesn't really separate itself in any way. It's not like there is overlapping dialogue used, or ominous tones to foreshadow our characters fate. This movie plays things pretty straightforward without ever hinting at what might be around the corner. As such, it disarms us of our preconceptions about these kinds of "disease" films.
Cynthia Nixon, Michael Angarano and a pinup of Sunny Mabrey adorn this front cover. While I think they could have done something a little more interesting, overall I feel that this cover does this movie justice. The back cover displays various shots from the film, a description of the movie, a "Special Features" listing, a cast list and technical specs. The biggest problem with this cover is that if you watch the trailer and then look at the packaging, you basically can tell what this movie is about without the need to see it.
All in all, I was really impressed with how much I enjoyed One Last Thing.... I liked the honesty of Michael Angarano's character. This is a guy who wasn't afraid to face the fact that he was dying. Rather than dwell on that, he seemed truly intent on making every moment count and that could be a jolt to some movie goers.
One Last Thing... isn't a film about a guy who is dying, it's a movie about someone who is clinging to his reason to live.
One Last Thing... was released September 12, 2005.