September 25, 2006 12:00 PM

Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson

ROMANTIC COMEDY

Raise your hand if you remember the Ally McBeal episode where a therapist revealed to Ally that everyone has their own personal theme song. Well, if Michael (Braff), a 29-year-old architect who is the morally confused hero of The Last Kiss, has one, it would be Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” The tune would start playing right after he learns his beautiful live-in girlfriend (Barrett) is expecting—and runs for the panic button. Fearful that he’s on a collision course with middle age, with marriage, fatherhood and car-pool duties fast upon him, Michael is all ears (and other body parts) when a sexy college student (Bilson) propositions him.

Kiss doesn’t quite work—I never believed a hot coed like Bilson would lust after Braff’s schlubby older guy—but it’s often likable, thanks to a script that does not push too hard and affecting performances from Braff (even more Dustin Hoffman-like than in Garden State) and Barrett. And it’s lovely to watch savvy vets Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson play Barrett’s spatting folks. (R)

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