Jon Turteltaub’s Last Vegas tells the story of four old friends who gather in Las Vegas for the bachelor party for and wedding of the one friend who never married. This is the most mainstream film I’ve seen at the festival and it plays out much as one would suspect for such a high profile project, playing it safe until the very end.
Much of the plot is predictable and the characters don’t have much depth but are given life by the veteran cast. Michael Douglas plays Billy, the financially successful friend who is engaged to a much younger woman. Robert DiNiro is Paddy, the one time tough kid now heartbroken over the death of his wife. Kevin Kline, as Sam, and Morgan Freeman, as Archie, have lived safe and predictable lives, settling into a depressing old age. The relationships among the men are lively and engaging thanks to the presence of this excellent cast. An old argument between Billy and Paddy creates tension, but there’s never a doubt that these old friends will work things out by the end.
Despite the presence of Mary Steenburgen as the strong and independent night club singer Diana, most of the film is terribly sexist as the four friends spend a great deal of time ogling young women. Sam’s wife (Joanna Gleason) grants him permission to cheat on her in order for him to return to his old happy self. Last Vegas is basically a randy, urban and less charming City Slickers.
Without a doubt, Last Vegas is often very funny. It handily meets the low bar it sets for itself and is entertaining for what it is.
Using the festival’s scoring system, I ranked this Good or 3 out of a possible 5.
Check out all my 2013 Philadelphia Film Festival posts!