GRADE: 5 out of 5
THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN is by far the best movie I’ve seen at L.A. Film Festival 2014 and I hope it gets the distribution it deserves because I think everybody should get to watch it at least once. It’s one of those movies that’s dialogue-driven and it focuses on a few characters and by the end of the story, you get to understand where they’re coming from and why they have their own stance on life, in many ways, it reminds me of such classics as ‘Swingers’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’. THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN’s strength is in its script by Hal Haberman and along with the great direction by Mo Perkins and a fantastic ensemble cast, THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN is a rare gem that gets you laughing and looking at life from a different perspective.
THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN is a great example of using low budget to its fullest benefit. It makes great use of the city. Many of the stars of this film are familiar faces who have done projects far more mainstream than this, and you can see how much they believe in this story, so much so that you wouldn’t be able to picture anybody else in their roles. Elize Coupe plays Ida, cheated on by her husband and soon to be divorced. Her sister, Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) who’s married, takes Ida out for a night at a wine bar, so they can talk and talk their troubles away for hours. Demetri Martin is a successful lawyer, named Will, who’s married and really wants to help his old pal, Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) who just got dumped by his wife for another woman. Will wants to take Clark away from his trouble, to take him on a night of party and careless drinking but Clark feels that they’re too old for that scene. So Will and Clark run into Ida and Alison, and the night of those four people together begins. As they talk and experience one misadventure after another, they start noticing similarities and differences, they go through confessions about their marriage and other adult concerns and the four of them surprisingly connect. They set out to have a good time, but what they end up getting is something much deeper than that.
THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN is a grown up comedy, underline the word comedy. Screenwriter Hal Haberman may want to present us these four insecure, conflicted individuals but the comedy remains strong from start to finish, there’s not a single boring moment. The dialogue is fast, smart, funny and witty, it keeps the actors and the audience on their toes. Much credit to the actors’ perfect comedic timing as well. The chemistry between the four of them is just perfect. The story spans over one night, and I love those kinds of stories, like ‘Nick And Norah’, you get to travel from one hotspot in town to another and by the end, not only do you know the characters really well, you can relate to what they’re going through. There’s parts about THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN that may make you question whether or not the movie even cherishes the idea of marriage and vows, because it seems to be breaking rules and not always in a good way. But THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN does a great job of dealing with themes of regrets and how hard it is to move forward from that regret and rise above it. You can call THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN a mid-life crisis dramedy, but I’d like to call it one of my favorite films I’ve seen all year.