The Last Place On Earth

While its mixture of equal parts road movie, redemption tale and terminal-disease drama is already a bit rich, "The Last Place on Earth" really falls apart in a contrived, confused third act. Writer-director James Slocum wants to portray the humanizing of an eligible but workaholic bank employee who finds love when least expected.

While its mixture of equal parts road movie, redemption tale and terminal-disease drama is already a bit rich, “The Last Place on Earth” really falls apart in a contrived, confused third act. Writer-director James Slocum wants to portray the humanizing of an eligible but workaholic bank employee who finds love when least expected, but there’s hardly a cliche Slocum doesn’t plumb along the way. Sprinkled with weak supporting thesps, pic is KO’d by zero chemistry generated by leads Dana Ashbrook and charismatic Tisha Campbell-Martin. Cablers trying to fill a 24-hour sked may bite.

Following the wishes of his dead mom (Phyllis Diller), Ashbrook’s Rob drives north to the Sierra’s east slope for her ash-scattering. En route, he meets cute with Campbell-Martin’s Ann, who reveals herself as both a brilliant catering chef and dying of leukemia. Apparently a changed man, Rob proposes marriage, and right after, love rapidly and quite unconvincingly goes south for the couple. Refreshingly, their racial differences (he’s white, she’s black) never surface as an issue. Sierra locales are nice but are generally shot from picture-postcard perspectives.

The Last Place On Earth

Production: A Boss Entertainment Group presentation of a Renaissance Media production. Produced by Joseph Armetta, Gina Meyers, Barrie M. Osborne, James Slocum. Directed, written by James Slocum.

Crew: Camera (FotoKem color), David Dechant; editor, Folmer Weisinger; music, Eric Swanson; production designer, Shane John. Reviewed at Pan African Festival, L.A., Feb. 14, 2002. Running time: 86 MIN. With: Dana Ashbrook, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Matt Farnsworth, Mitchell Anderson, Thom Bierdz, Brock Peters, Billy Dee Williams, Phyllis Diller, Mink Stole.

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