Nichole Beharie is a phenomenal actress. The first time I saw her perform was in American Violet. She played a poor mother turned activist wrongfully arrested in a Texas drug raid. It's based on a true story. She held her own with co-star Alfre Woodard. In "My Last Day Without You" Beharie shines an aspiring musician who falls in love with a handsome, German businessman. Beharie has such range in her acting. She can go from playing an activist taking on the Texas court systems to a pretty girl next door in New York with music dreams.
"My Last Day Without You" is about a German business executive named Niklas, played by Ken Duken, who is sent to the U.S. for a short 12-hour trip to lay off all of the people in the company's New York office. It just so happens Leticia (Beharie's character), a receptionist at the company gets the pink slip. Niklas drops the ax before Leticia arrives to work. Her termination could not have come at worse time. She just moved into her own apartment and has dreams of her music making it big.
Here's where it gets juicy. Niklas and Leticia meet on the streets of New York. They start to vibe and hang out for the rest of the day. She tells him she got laid off. Niklas figures out she worked at his company but doesn't tell her he told people to pack up. Niklas is arrogant and ignorant. I did not like him at first. He doesn't realize he's the company's puppet and thinks he can get the panties easily because he makes a lot of money. Leticia doesn't settle for that. She's hopeful, driven and sweet. Just don't get on her bad side.
"My Last Day Without You" is a sweet, fresh romance. It's a tender story about fate and chance in love. I really enjoyed the relationship between Leticia and her father Pastor Lestor Johnson, played by Reg E. Cathy. Thankfully he wasn't the typical, Baptist preacher that we always see in movies. He was just a regular guy who loved his daughter and had trouble moving on from the death of his wife.
I was surprised the film had quite a bit of comedy. I expected the film to be a romantic drama but it's more of a romantic dramedy. Speaking of comedy, Niklas' driver was hilarious. Actor Laith Nakli made me chuckle a few times.
My only complaint about the film is that it was too short. It was only 90 minutes. But, I know independent films are on tight budgets. I'm on the fence about the steam factor. It gets a little hot and heavy in one scene. One one hand, I wanted more steam between the two characters. Nicole Beharie and Ken Duken had great chemistry. On the other hand, that might have taken away from the story.
This film was released Spring 2011 and there are people who still want to see it in theatres and at film festivals. I'll reach out to the filmmakers to see if it's going to be on DVD anytime soon. Stefan Schaefer and Christoph Silber did a great job on the script. There were a few surprises in the film and at times I didn't know what was going to happen next.
Films like this make me wish our world was different. Nicole Beharie should be a household name by now. She's just as talented, if not better, as the same actresses we see over and over again in big-budget movies. Plus, she can sing too. She performs in the film.
Also, with all of the so-so rom-coms big movie studios put out yearly, I don't understand why this really good movie hasn't played at AMC, Regal, etc.
But, I'm thankful for the internet which is how I found about "My Last Day Without You," and the indie filmmakers who can bring us these great stories.