Taye Diggs Wednesday media review

Since ABC has decided to stop airing Day Break for some undisclosed and unfathomable reason, and doesn't say when it will come back, I spent the hour from 10pm-11pm on Wednesday watching Just a Kiss, the indy film starring Day Break's Taye Diggs along with Marissa Tomei, Kyra Sedgewick, and...well, it really drops down from there.

As you watch the opening credits, you're left admiring the styled artwork-over-video trick used in the cab windows. As the trick continues ad nauseum for the next 5 minutes of the story, you're left waiting for it to end (which it mercifulously does, only to appear later in the film).

We learn all about Dag, a son of some hippies who has a small infidelity problem. Fortunately, he's a sympathetic character because the "other woman" is always equally guilty. Having slept with a mysterious woman with glowing eyes (who I suppose was responsible for the end of the movie) and memory problems, Dag and his woman are out with their friend Peter when an intentionally-hilarious scene of swapping cell phones falls flat and ultimately results in Peter's dancing girlfriend admitting that Dag slept with her in Europe. At least one of the two couples appear to break up, and Peter's small acting gig in a commercial attracts the attention of hot bowling alley bartender Paula who seems to be just a little obsessed and likely crazy. But so was Peter's ex, so maybe this is his type. Except that when Dag and Peter split in a fight, Paula has sex with Dag. Maybe. Meanwhile, Dag's girlfriend Halley (Kyra Sedgewick looks about 25 years too old to play a 30something for some bizarre reason) hooks up with Taye Digg's artsy cellist Andre. Throughout this all, Peter ends up at the airport where a beautiful woman invites him to L.A. to have sex in the first class bathroom. Somewhere in all of this, the pieces start coming together in a wholistically unrealistic way. My own "everybody meets each other in NYC" story notwithstanding, these people all seem one Kevin Bacon degree of separation from knowing everybody else. Peter's mile high club girl is Andre's wife. Peter's ex Becky sleeps with Andre. Halley ends up sleeping with Andre. Dag (apparently) sleeps with Paula, who also used to sleep with Andre. And of course this all comes together after Dag cheated on Halley with Becky. Did we mention Becky was crazy? It will become important soon.

Peter calls Becky after the in-flight sex to tell her he loves her. The cell phone (unrealistically) causes the plane to crash, killing everyone on board. Well, except for first class, which miraculously survives. As Peter walks around in a daze on storefront TV monitors, Rebecca obliviously in front of the store listens to Peter's message from the plane and slits her wrists in a suicide attempt (her first of the film and second of all time). Dag comes across her in a bloody pulp, having been mugged. Paula in her underwear watches this all while tied to a chain. In the hospital Peter, Dag, and Becky are all undergoing treatment, as is Andre's wife who in another "supposed to be funny but wasn't" moment is killed by a catering truck on camera as she wandered in a daze after the plane crash. Seriously.

Anyways, Paula assaults a nurse to steal her uniform, and under her nursing guise convinces Halley to give up all the room numbers. Dag is tragically killed when Paula scares him with a hammer, the "unlikely brain aneurism" scenario the script drills into us four or five times in the Halley scene. She then goes to Becky, convinces her to commit suicide again (the alternative is lesbian sex with Paula), and helps her out by loading her with sleeping pills. Finally, Paula goes to hit on Peter.

In the subsequent scenes, Dag dies from his aneurism. Andre's wife succumbs to her coma. Becky succumbs to hers. Peter/Halley/Andre fight/embrace at various points of the scenes. Finally, as Peter is alone with Becky, Paula comes in. Peter is about to succumb to temptation when, as I promised earlier, the neato effects pop in. Becky briefly comes to life, kisses Peter, and glares angrily at Paula. As Becky falls back to sleep, Peter has a realization that this girl is bad news, and demands she no longer talk to him.

As Peter forlornly looks on his girlfriend's body, he wishes they could do everything over again. So they do.

Relax. The movie is not about to double in length.

So now Becky still came onto Dag in Europe, but after some lip-locking Dag leaves with his honour intact. The couples still fight over it. Peter, who was cool with Becky screwing his best friend, becomes livid over some tonuge and ends the relationship. Halley gets over her anger by "getting even" in the form of kissing this black cellist (Andre). Andre's wife/girlfriend (timelines aren't clear here) sees this, and throws flowers in his face. Dag and Halley, happy again, accidently bump into Paula, who turns and angrily calls Dag an asshole...before shooting him and Halley in the back. Well, there's one last twist in the film, and I'll spoil it for you: she was imagining the gun.

Diggs looks about 5,000 years younger in this 2002 film than he looks now, and reminded me a lot of another black artsy cello player from New York. The movie also had some unanswered questions, namely:

  1. Why did the Ferrari girl's eyes light up? Was she responsible for the time-shift at the end of the movie?
  2. Did Dag sleep with Paula? Did she arrange his "mugging"?

Reason not to see this film: It makes little sense.

Reason to see this film: Marissa Tomei is hot.