The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997)

The Last Time I Committed Suicide Poster

Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence. When his girlfried, Joan, tries to kill herself he gets scared and runs away. But when Joan reappears will he take the chance at that happiness, or will he turn his back on it?

"The Last Time I Committed Suicide" is a 1997 American biographical drama directed by Stephen Kay. The film is loosely based on a letter from beat generation icon Neal Cassady to his buddy, Jack Kerouac. It stars Thomas Jane as Neal Cassady, Claire Forlani as Joan Vollmer, and Keanu Reeves as Harry.

Plot Summary
The film is set in 1946 and recounts the engaging story of Cassady's tumultuous life following his discharge from the U.S. Army. Cassady grapples with his sensations for consistent and sweet Mary (depicted by Gretchen Mol), his childhood sweetheart, and wild and unpredictable Joan (played by Claire Forlani), his brand-new love.

Neal is torn in between his ambitions to settle down and lead a calm, structured life and the alluring and adventurous spirit that he innately has. This internal magnetism moves him towards Joan and the interesting, unforeseeable life she uses. A considerable subplot involves Neal's relationship with Harry, a pool-playing hitchhiker.

Secret Themes
"The Last Time I Committed Suicide" adeptly illustrates the conflicted desires attracting boys during post-war America; the appeal of the ordinary and familiar versus the sexy pull of the extraordinary and unidentified. Cassady embodies this duality, enthusiastically surviving on the edge.

The movie also contemplates the more comprehensive Beatnik generation's restlessness, discontentment, and non-conformity - a cultural movement that declined the dominating norms of America during the time in favor of looking for freedom from societal constraints.

Crucial Reception
The film was typically applauded for its captivating representation of Cassady's life, with especially good efficiencies by Thomas Jane and Keanu Reeves. Jane's depiction of Neal Cassady was lauded for convincingly representing the conflicted spirit of a boy looking for to discover his location worldwide, torn in between the protected and the daring. Keanu Reeves' Harry was noted for adding depth to the story through his friendship with Neal.

Nevertheless, the movie has also gotten criticism for its scattered narrative approach, some contending that it made it challenging for the audience to fully engage with the storyline.

"The Last Time I Committed Suicide" draws its audiences into the 1940s post-war America, presenting a remarkable glance of the period's duality echoed through Neal Cassady's life. In spite of its noteworthy efficiencies, the movie's storyline might appear separated to some viewers. Nevertheless, the movie serves as an engaging cinematic homage to a renowned figure of the Beat generation.

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