The Last Word


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Festival Year

2008 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Winona Ryder, Wes Bentley, Ray Romano

Non-Cast Credits

Geoff Haley, David Hillary, Tim Peternel, Alexandra Milchan, Bonnie Timmermann, Jack Utsick, Kees Van Oostrum, Fabienne Rawley, John Swihart


Geoff Haley�s feature debut is a hilariously dark romantic comedy set in the City of Angels, where aimless souls are desperate to either make a connection or go out with a bang.

Evan Merck (Wes Bentley) is a writer who has found a most peculiar niche. Evan makes his living composing other people�s suicide notes. His reclusive world is thrown for a loop when, at a client�s funeral, Evan meets the beautiful, free-spirited Charlotte (Winona Ryder), the dead client�s sister. Unaware of his real day job�much less his connection to her brother�s suicide�Charlotte develops a fascination for the young writer. Sparks fly, and Evan is not one for sparks. As his feelings for Charlotte spiral, Evan desperately tries to keep his career a secret. Deceptions snowball, rocking the delicately crafted balance of Evan�s life and, consequently, the lives of his hapless clients.

Surprisingly touching, quirky, and wickedly intelligent, this charming comedy confronts loss, redemption, and our curious need to leave a legacy. Bentley and Ryder have a chemistry that sizzles. As Evan�s client and friend, Abel, Ray Romano puts the dead back in deadpan. Writer/director Geoff Haley returns to Sundance after his 2002 short film, The Parlor, made quite a splash. The Last Word puts Haley on the cine-map as a fresh voice that is decidedly alive.


Trevor Groth (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.