One More Kiss * * * *

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Director: Vadim Jean.
Screenplay: S.A. Halewood.
Starring: Valerie Edmond, Gerard Butler, James Cosmo, Valerie Gogan, Carl Proctor, Danny Nussbaum, Dilys Miller, Ron Guthrie.

Over the course of the next couple of days I’ll be posting a little trilogy of Scottish films that will have, no doubt, passed many people by and are certainly worthy of some more attention. I’ll begin with this 1999 film set in the Scottish borders that although it falls into a particular romantic genre, it dares to do things differently and succeeds admirably.

Sarah Hopson (Valerie Edmond) has been living a successful, high-flying lifestyle in New York but when she finds out that she has a terminal illness, she heads back home to Scotland to prepare for her death. When she arrives, she reacquaints with her childhood sweetheart Sam Murray (Gerard Butler). Sam now runs a restaurant and has since married but Sarah approaches his wife (Valerie Gogan) to ask that she spend time with him before her death – causing everyone some mixed emotions.

The film opens with a lone female, arms aloft, teetering on the edge of a skyscraper. It’s a powerful piece of imagery and an opening scene that sets the tone of this heartfelt tale. This is not a film about death but about life, love and relationships. It explores the mistakes and regrets but also delivers a chance of redemption. It’s in the human relationships that this film finds it’s strength. It’s not just about Sarah and her need to tie up loose ends but it confidently explores the effects on the people around her; she brings both a mixture of pleasure and pain to the other characters. At times she can come across as arrogant and selfish yet she also brings hope and instills a belief in people to live their lives fully. This is a film that wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve and for the most part, the performances are great. It’s interesting watching a young Gerard Butler and Valerie Gogan as his suffering wife is fantastic. James Cosmo is also especially memorable as Sarah’s cantankerous, rough diamond father. However, Valerie Edmond as the lead, looked a little stretched at times which I just couldn’t understand; in some scenes she was absolutely superb and in others she was quite poor. This could be down to her delivery of the dialogue though. I tend to be a little harsh on Scottish performers as sometimes the dialogue isn’t delivered properly. Most Scots have a certain slang nature to their dialect and when you hear words uttered with correct English pronunciation it jars a little. Understandably this has to be the case, so as to appeal to a wider audience but as a Scotsman, it seems out of place. That being said, Edmond still gets the job done and although some of the idiom may lost, the film still retains it’s subtle Scottish humour and delivers moments of highly impressive, realistic drama.

Despite some small inconsistencies this is still a beautifully played, poignant and heartfelt life/love story. It’s not normally the type of film I’d be drawn to but I was impressed with it’s execution.

Next up… “Dear Frankie“.

Mark Walker

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14 Responses to “One More Kiss * * * *”

  1. Cool. Scottish film. I just recently saw one myself that I enjoyed (I won’t mention the title as I’ll post a blurb on it next week). Maybe it’s one of yours ;-). Thanks, Mark.

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    • Thanks Michael. This was one that Ruth recommended a while ago. I really enjoyed it and it’s definitely worth a look. I’m not that big on romantic drama’s but this was different. Yeah, I’ll post another tomorrow and again on Saturday. I look forward to yours, maybe it is the same as mine.

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      • Yay!!! Glad to be the one recommending this to you Mark, and even more thrilled that you like it! I wish people give it a chance, it’ll show people that GB CAN indeed act and do a love story that is not a rom-com!

        Btw, I just saw Chasing Mavericks and once again GB displayed his versatility as a surfing mentor. He was fantastic!

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      • I’m glad you recommended it Ruth. This is a film that would have passed me by otherwise. Admittedly I wasn’t overly impressed with Valerie Edmond in the lead role but everyone else was really good. It was quite a lovely story that was well delivered and something that took me by surprise.

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  2. Well stated Mark! This is a movie that it completely new to me. Not familiar with it at all. SOunds like one a need to check out.

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    • Cheers Keith. Over the next couple of days I’ll be bringing a bit more attention to three Scottish films that most won’t have heard of. All three are worth some attention. They may not appeal to everyone but some will find lots of enjoyment from them. Thanks for swinging by bro.

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  3. Sounds lovely. πŸ™‚

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  4. Great post Mark, thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

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  5. ray brayne Says:

    I haven’t seen this one yet. I’ll put it on “radar”. I just wanted to comment on Scottish dialect. I remember the first time I saw a Scottish film with subtitles. It was “Riff-Raff” with your bro Robbie Carlyle. It was on BBC America over here and at every break they made an on-screen apology about the subtitles because of the dialects. This probably turned a lot of viewers away from a very good flik. Such a shame. Carlyle has since smoothed his tongue but all to the good, you can still tell he’s a Scotsman through and through. “Angel’s Share” a film I saw recently almost suffered the same fate. I’m glad it didn’t.

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    • Riff-Raff is a great film and it’s unfortunate that it has to be viewed in that way. I’d heard a while ago that Trainspotting suffered a similar fate in the states? Not sure if that’s true or not though. As for Carlyle, he highly talented in accents and it really surprises me that roles seem to have dried up for him. I think he’s the finest Scottish actor around at present.

      Glad you mention “The Angels’ Share” Ray. That’ll be my post tomorrow. I enjoyed it very much and it became a surprisingly upbeat film from the usually downbeat Loach.

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      • ray brayne Says:

        No, Trainspotting was good to go. No subs. Ken Loach did “Riff-Raff” and “Angels Share”. He must be a man of the streets folk hero over there!

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      • No subs for Trainspotting. That’s good to hear. Yeah, Loach has done some brilliantly hard-hitting stuff. His films are always completely working class and raw. Entirely realistic stuff though. He’s one of the most authentic filmmakers from this neck of the woods. His reputation is held in as high a regard as Mike Leigh’s.

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