A peek into the lives of four 30-somethings adapting to lives they didn’t fully expect and aren’t sure they want.
The Last Time You Had Fun
The Last Time You Had Fun is a flawed, but engaging enough film that peeks in on the lives of four 30-somethings who are adapting to the lives they didn’t fully expect and aren’t sure they want. It’s incredibly well-worn territory for most dialogue-heavy independent films and while this doesn’t reach the heights of something like Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, it does have something to offer specifically in the performances of its main cast.
The film begins with Ida (Eliza Coupe) visiting her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis), Ida is an emotional wreck who has recently lost her husband, her job and moved back in with their mother while Alison has seemingly settled into a nice life with her husband and small daughter. Meanwhile Will (Demetri Martin) is an unhappily married soon-to-be father trying to force his friend, the recently divorced Clark (Kyle Bornheimer), to join him for a fun night out like they used to have. From there the two duos cross paths at a respectable, but lifeless wine bar before branching out onto a more adventurous and revealing night. Driven from location to location by the always dry-humored Charlyne Yi (in a limousine no less) the foursome comically confront the current states of their lives while challenging each other.
The Last Time You Had Fun moves along at a quick pace (even for its short runtime) largely due to the fun chemistry of the four leads who all turn in strong performances and for the most part play against type. Martin is at times hilariously obnoxious and insecure while Coupe displays a level of vulnerability and depth I hadn’t seen in her before this film. And while all four of the performances were good, it was Bornheimer and Ellis who really stood out by the end of the film. Bornheimer is quietly funny and somber sometimes even in a single moment and really makes a lot out of his character. And Ellis gives a very layered and heartfelt performance in probably the most complex role I’ve seen of hers.
Mo Perkins, working from a Hal Haberman script, smartly allows her cast a lot of room to play around with in the film. Each character is given a chance to shine in some way and that’s a credit not just to the actors, but Perkins and Haberman’s work here. However some of the more dramatic beats in the film are often clumsily handled or fumbled in one way or another, the actors are usually able to right the ship, but it’s these moments that hold back the film overall. The film is at its best when the cast are playfully joking around with each other and letting their natural chemistry together come to the forefront. But whenever the film amps up the drama and tension it comes off as overly melodramatic and poorly handled. Overall it’s a fine film made watchable by the strong work of its four leads, though it would’ve benefited immensely from a more delicate and thoughtful touch.
The Last Time You Had Fun is available nationwide now on VOD.