Jul 19, 2014

Review: Kiss the Sky (1998)

The premise of Kiss the Sky doesn't sound all that promising. Summed up, I guess that it's a midlife crisis movie which to me, definitely has the potential of going in a dumb direction if it isn't properly done. Men going through a midlife crisis doesn't exactly get a lot of support do they? It's also pretty hard to shake the image of a balding man driving around in a red convertible, trying to recapture his youth. I've never heard of director Roger Young either who seems to be mostly known for a TV/miniseries version of The Bourne Identity from 1988 and (sorry to generalize) some boring biblical stuff.

The two main actors however I do know and happen to like them both. William Peterson is more of an 80's guy who then just went into TV later on while Gary Cole is Gary Cole. I guess he's just known as that guy who played the boss in Office Space but that doesn't really give him enough credit.

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Genre: drama, romance
Directed by: Roger Young
Produced by: Eric Lerner
Written by:  Eric Lerner
Music by: Patrick Williams
Running time: 107 minutes
Production company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $6,000,000
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: William Petersen, Gary Cole, Sheryl Lee, Patricia Charbonneau, Season Hubley, Terence Stamp, Ivana Milicevic, Ernie Ortega, Cris Daluz

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Synopsis

 

Jeff (William Peterson) and Marty (Gary Cole) are two friends who happen to be pretty successful upper middle-class guys. They find their current lives unsatisfying and both lament their relationships with their wives. Marty is especially bothered and is probably pretty close to completely falling apart from the daily stress he goes through. Jeff proposes the two go on a business trip to the Philippines where they soon have to make some pretty big decisions about their lives and I'm not talking about business here.

Review

 

My fear that the midlife crisis element would be stupid was quickly forgotten when I started watching Kiss the Sky. I think that writer Eric Lerner goes about the whole thing quite neatly and both Peterson and Cole play their parts very convincingly. I'm a fan of both of their characters. After some crazy experiences in college, Jeff and Marty's friendship went on hold for a while and now it's suddenly rekindled when they see each other at a party and feel the same way about, well, everything. 

They're both pretty different from each other but find ways to be friends anyway. Their differences aren't all spelled out either, they're gently inserted to be discovered by the viewer and I like that. The love interest in this film played by Sheryl Lee is also pretty interesting and she adds a whole new ingredient to the pot. The web of human feelings and desires gets more and more tangled up as the movie goes on and the whole thing is done pretty convincingly. Thankfully, there are no typical Hollywood rom-com problems or resolutions here. 

Kiss the Sky nicely captures the Philippines in terms of landscapes and people. As the viewer you feel like you're discovering the Philippines alongside Jeff and Marty and there's also a great soundtrack that ties what they're going through along with their discoveries. Summed up, the mise-en-scène, the story and the music all work together very nicely. 

I wasn't expecting all that much from Kiss the Sky but it's definitely better than advertised. It delves really deep into its characters and it comes out with nary a scratch. It's a film that's definitely fallen through the cracks and deserves more of an audience. I suppose that it's not a movie that has the potential for mass-market appeal but still. It's main actors put together some great performances and the story doesn't disappoint. It deserves better. 

Rating


7/10