When there's love, dancing and lessons to be learned from generation to generation, it seems like the makings of the feel good movie of the year. Unfortunately, writer-director Sandra Nettlebeck's "Last Love" can only brag on being a well acted, but incredibly depressing footnote to 2013.
Michael Caine plays Matthew, a retired professor attempting to deal with the loss of his late wife. Despite not speaking or understanding French, he insists on living in the Paris home that he shared with his wife. While on the bus, he encounters Pauline (Clenence Poesy), who seems to fall head over heels with him, but in a non-sexual way. Before long, they have gone from casual acquaintances to becoming each other's surrogate father and daughter.
Except Matthew already has a daughter Karen(Gillian Anderson) and a son Miles (Justin Kirk), who fly back to Paris to check on their dad after a failed attempt to meet up with his wife on the other side. Neither sibling is fond of the relationship Matthew has with Pauline, mainly because they're too absorbed with themselves. Ahh, kids.
Caine as the father who seeks to reluctantly make amends far too late and Poesy as the needy daughter with her own skeletons manage to create an intriguing dynamic that is wasted in "Lost Love," based on the novel "La Douceur Assassine.". Nettlebeck deftly manages to let Poesy's smile be a beacon to Caine's dark tunnel of despair, but stubbornly insists that Caine's end be tragic, no matter the effort by his loved ones or the unspoken desire of the audience. Caine gets to dance and smile and find a reason for living only for his wife Joan (Jane Alexander) to constantly nag him from the other side to join her. By the end of this film, you're tempted to ask if there's room for one more.
"Last Love" - MPAA Rated: Unrated. Running time: 115 minutes. Available on DVD, Netflix, Amazon and Itunes.