MOVIE REVIEW ★★★ A Poignant and Conflicted Playboy

Frost/The Last International Playboy

Director: Steve Clark

Starring...Jason Behr, Monet Mazur, Krysten Ritter

Rated: R

Now Playing in Select Theaters

The International Playboy is a short interlude into an individual’s journey towards self-discovery and strips away the glamour of what everyone envisions as the ‘perfect life’. The whole span of the movie is a mere 92 minutes.

The film starts off with a scenario that would satisfy any hot-blooded male’s fantasies. A dozen or so leggy young women in varying degrees of nudity leap up and down on a bed, framing a darkhaired Lothario. The camera pans in to the young man with a rakish expression, engaged in lascivious activities/

Fast forward seven years. While continuing his party hard, do nothing lifestyle, Jack Frost (Jason Behr) is shattered when his best friend and childhood love Carolina (Monet Mazur) announces her engagement to another man. When he realizes that Carolina is adamant about her marriage, Jack spirals into depression.

During these times, he is confronted with who he is, and why he can’t relinquish the past. With the aid of a precocious 11-year-old neighbor who offers astoundingly insightful advice, Jack begins to piece his life together.

The film initially repelled me because it seemed like such a cliché. A playboy who has too much money parties with models. Said playboy realizes he lost the one woman he ever loved. Playboy meets a new non-sense woman who reforms him from his playboy ways and then the two live happily ever after. Fortunately this story is not so neat and tidy. There is none of that romance-comedy closure and smiling faces- we only know that Jack is moving on but it does not mean he has been completely reformed.

At its heart, this story is not about romance. It is a portrayal of an adult man, haunted by his mother’s suicide, who refuses to grow up. Unconsciously, he finds himself state of limbo and his life has been temporarily put on hold. Although constantly surrounded by hordes of people, he still is alone.

Halfway through the film, Jack disappears for four day and his friends later find him on a cruise ship sprawled upwards to the sky. There was an uncanny resemblance between this scene and the one in The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman floats on raft. Neither of the protagonists are rooted to anything and they can’t get themselves out of the rut they find themselves in. It is perhaps one of the most terrifying possibilities in life: to be unable to know what one wants and finding life leaving a stale taste in one’s mouth.

All the characters are flawed in some way. And though Jack is supposedly the most messed up character, we cannot bring ourselves hate him. He is described as “broken — but not empty, and there’s a big difference.”

Although Jack drowns himself in whiskey and women every other night, he still takes care of his drug-addled friend and insists on sending her to rehab. He also takes in a lonely and precocious 11-year-old neighbor, even agreeing to go trick-or-treating with her.

There is a boyish charm about Jack that makes one sympathize with his plight — if any one was actually like Jack in real life, most people would simply brand him as a spoiled rich boy. This film transcends that two-dimensional label.