With a title resembling a lost F.Scott Fitzgerald masterpiece, The Last International Playboy opens with a woman looking at the camera and blowing cigarette smoke at the audience. Wow, nice French New Wave movie reference. Then we switch to seeing topless girls kissing and bathing, and you can figure out this will be a more ordinary movie than it thinks it is.
NYC socialite, Jack Frost (Jason Behr) lives the dream life, partying with models in his penthouse. Because this is a movie, he’s exhausted by that and having few friends besides a chubby unhip nightclub reviewer named Scotch Evans (Mike Landry). When his ex-girlfriend and current friend, Carolina (Monet Mazur) announces she’s getting married, he feels unable to process what’s happening and begins to hurt himself and everyone around him.
Jack tries to avoid being involved in the whole wedding process which isn’t the most interesting or sensible position for a friend to take. The story unfolds over six months during which self-absorbed Jack sulks—a lot. We see scenes of him sitting down, lying down and wandering aimlessly. True, a reporter, Kate (Lucy Gordon) and 11-year old neighbor, Sophie (India Ennenga) function as a two-step program for his depression. But the movie doesn’t reveal many relationship truths. It’s about waiting for Jack to randomly snap out of it. One scene is unintentionally funny because it shows Jack brooding in his bath with a rubber ducky.
The events of The Last International Playboy are unconvincing because the script doesn’t explain its characters well. For instance, how can Jack shell out drinks for a harem of supermodels when he doesn’t appear to have a job? I wanted to care about whether he’d find love or peace after what he goes through. But Jack and Carolina’s relationship stays vague throughout. He and Carolina don’t share many scenes. A repeated dream sequence of them as kids describes little.
On his first feature, Steve Clark manages to find a wonderful actress to play Sophie. In fact India Ennega is the most enthusiastic member of the cast. The rest only react half as intense as they should. Some think that formulaic movies don’t require instructions to put together. Maybe, but it’s hard to make one worth watching.
The Last International Playboy debuts in New York City on June 12.