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The Last Word

Where to Watch The Last Word


Brilliantly directed by Mark Pellington and featuring a stellar cast led by Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine alongside Amanda Seyfried and AnnJewel Lee Dixon, The Last Word is a delightful dive into the life and times of Harriet Lauler, a once successful businesswoman who is forced face her life's misgivings after she realizes she possesses little control over how she will be remembered, portrayed, and perceived posthumously.

The Last Word is a heartwarming, humorous, and emotion-stirring combination of comedy and drama, set in the quaint town of Bristol. The movie explores Harriet Lauler's (played by Shirley MacLaine) life, a well-to-do former advertising executive who built a successful career in the face of adversity. Harriet is a perfectionist, leaving no stone unturned in her complete control over her successful business. However, solitary at heart and estranged from most loved ones due to her tough exterior and controlling behaviors, she lives a life of seclusion in her twilight years.

One day, Harriet, brimming with her typical perfectionism, gets obsessed with an obituary of a stranger in the local newspaper. While admiring the beautifully composed write-up, it dawns on her that she has no control over how her own obituary will be written after she's gone. This sparks an urgent desire in Harriet to carefully curate her legacy and ensure her life's story is presented the way she wishes it to be remembered: perfect.

With this intent, Harriet seeks out the services of the newspaper's obituary writer Anne Sherman (played by Amanda Seyfried), a struggling journalist. Harriet's unique demand throws Anne into a tizzy but she gasps the gravity of Harriet's desires over time. Anne tries to pen down an honest account of Harriet's life, but Harriet's dissatisfied reaction presents Anne with a challenge: she agrees to write an honest obituary, but only after Harriet accomplished something meaningful that she could write about.

What follows is a series of humorous and emotional escapades as Harriet embarks on a mission to reshape her future obituary, pushing herself out of her jaded comfort zone. She starts this journey by taking under her wings a rebellious, yet highly talented, young African American girl Brenda (played by AnnJewel Lee Dixon). Harriet learns to embrace the unpredictability and beauty of life, reigniting the sparks of compassionate relationships that were long missing from her life, transforming not just her own life, but also those around her.

MacLaine, who is best known for her Academy-winning performance in Terms of Endearment, paints Harriet with vivid nuances of a strong-willed lady who is not hesitant to live life on her own terms. Her performance is beautifully complemented by Amanda Seyfried, whose portrayal of Anne Sherman adds a touch of grounded realism to the storyline, and Dixon's portrayal of Brenda adds a hint of coy sophistication. Screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink brilliantly crafts the evolving dynamics and camaraderie between the three ladies, deeply resonating with its viewers.

The Last Word is a charming exploration of life and death, control and surrender, solitude and companionship. It's a beautifully crafted narrative that underlines the importance of seeking happiness and satisfaction in life rather than obsessing over the final impressions one might leave behind. The movie impressively resonates with its audience, straddling the thin line between melancholy and hope, between despair and joy, and between solitude and companionship.

Lastly, The Last Word is a testament to the transformative power of relationships and empathy and serves as a gentle reminder of the potential magnificence of life if we let go of our inhibitions, welcome new experiences, strive for genuine connections, and most importantly, take the pen of our life's story in our own hands. This movie is sure to leave viewers pondering about their own legacy and the stories that they would wish written about their lives. In a nutshell, The Last Word isn't just another movie; it's a poignant reflection on life beautifully packaged as a feel-good cinematic experience.

The Last Word is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2017. It has a runtime of 108 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 40.

How to Watch The Last Word

Where can I stream The Last Word movie online? The Last Word is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Last Word for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Mark Pellington
Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried
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