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One Last Thing... (June 11/06)

One Last Thing..., though marred by an uneven pace and an emphasis on corny plot developments, is generally an effective, surprisingly touching piece of work that's buoyed by several superb performances and occasional bursts of authenticity.

Michael Angarano stars as Dylan Jameison, a teenager dying of cancer who is granted the opportunity to make one final wish by a local charitable organization. Though he initially wishes for an afternoon of fishing with a beloved sports figure (played by Johnny Messner), Dylan changes his mind at the last minute and instead requests a weekend with beautiful supermodel Nikki Sinclair (Sunny Mabrey).

One Last Thing... marks director Alex Steyermark's sophomore effort, following the enjoyable but forgettable Prey for Rock & Roll. The filmmaker infuses the movie with an oddly lighthearted touch, which doesn't quite jibe with some of the more dramatic sequences within Barry Stringfellow's screenplay. The inclusion of overly quirky elements - including Dylan's wacky best friends and Michael Rispoli's bizarre cameo as a Buddhist New Yorker - proves to be the most ineffective aspect of the film, to the extent that one can't help but wish that Steyermark and Stringfellow had just focused on Dylan's efforts to fight his illness. One Last Thing... is at its best when it portrays the devastating effects of Dylan's cancer, and the impact it has on his loved ones - particularly his mother, Carol (Cynthia Nixon, in a surprisingly affecting performance).

Despite such problems, however, there are enough positive attributes within the movie to warrant a mild recommendation (Angarano's strong work here should guarantee him a long career within the film industry, if nothing else).

out of

About the DVD: One Last Thing... arrives on DVD courtesy of Maple Pictures, armed with an anamorphically-enhanced transfer and several bonus features (five minutes worth of extended/alternate takes, a half-hour behind-the-scenes featurette, and an informative commentary track with director Alex Steyermark).