Los Angeles Film Festival 2014
In The Last Time You Had Fun (2014), four disillusioned thirty-somethings look in the mirror and don’t like what they see, in themselves or their lives. On the bright side, none of them is homeless or trying to make it in show business, either. Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) struggles to cope as a good dad to two precocious kids after his wife walks out. His best friend, Will (Demetri Martin), thinks all Clark needs is a fun injection. He hires a fully stocked stretch limo with a mouthy Asian female chauffeur (Charlene Yi) at the wheel. After the pair awkwardly picks up sisters Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) and Ida (Eliza Coupe) in a downtown wine bar, it becomes a road movie that never quite makes it out of the Los Angeles city limits.
Their youth ended a while ago but there’s no law against trying to reclaim it. No felonies, anyway. Directed by Mo Perkins from a screenplay by Hal Haberman, the cast keeps us rooting for them throughout the night. With cinematographer Eric Zimmerman, Perkins gives the city a de-glamorized look, as the newfound friends cruise through parts of town not usually seen in the movies.
Bornheimer is perfect as the nice guy dad, Clark, finally getting out of the house. Martin, who’s worked with David Letterman, adopts a slick veneer just right for the lawyer, Will. The lovely Ellis makes us believe Alison’s fear of becoming just a “soccer mom.” Coupe became a favorite of mine in the romantic comedy Shanghai Calling (2012). Here, she brings sexiness and sadness to Ida. The rest of the cast, including a very naked Jimmi Simpson as Ida’s ex, are excellent. Joining the canon of “one crazy night” movies like American Graffiti (1973), After Hours (1985) and Night on Earth (1991), Fun has enough universal appeal to stand the test of time.
The Last Time You Had Fun premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Additional screening, Wednesday, June 18th