Movie Review: Last Tango

Last Tango revisits the Bernardo Bertolucci classic Last Tango in Paris. It is rather poignantly one of director Nica Noelle’s last films for Sweet Sinema before she set out to create two new studios, Hard Candy and Girl Candy. It may well be her best work we’ve seen to date.


Manuel Ferrara is just out of prison and needs a place to live. Gorgeous Katsuni is thinking of leaving her boyfriend. They meet while looking at a furnished apartment. Their attraction is obvious, but Manuel has to wear down Katsuni’s resistance.


Once they’re alone, Manuel soon has Katsuni on the bed with her panties pulled down and his finger in her snatch. He exposes her full tits while talking dirty in French. Soon he flips her over and pulls out his thick cock to fuck her. Katsuni is completely under Manuel’s power and loving it, judging by the way she swallows his dick in sixty-nine. He’s a rough lover, but there are some almost tender moments. Katsuni can bend easily into every position he commands, and Manuel is his usual living-legend self with a dangerous twist. They are like a lit match to gasoline.


Afterward Katsuni tells him she likes to know the names of her lovers, but Manuel says he isn’t her lover. He wants to be “a garbage can” where she puts all the things too shameful and dark to tell anyone. “I want what you don’t give to anyone else,” Manuel says. When she gets home, Katsuni rinses off in the shower as if washing off the darkness of her encounter with Manuel.


Manuel’s pseudo-girlfriend, Annie Cruz, is furious with him when he finally comes back to her place. They fight and fuck like a couple coming apart; it’s rough and hard, but Manuel kisses Annie between the thrusting and hair pulling. During a particularly hot moment in cowgirl, Annie bends back while Manuel kneads her tits. This feels like a “last fuck,” in contrast to the powerful “first fuck” he just had.


Katsuni’s boyfriend, James Deen, is a wannabe reality TV producer. His big idea is for her to play a lesbian on a lesbian-themed reality show he’ll produce. He might be a delusional goofball, but he knows how to fuck. James gets just rough enough with Katsuni, smacking her ass while she’s riding him and pulling her hair when she sucks his cock.


Manuel moves into the apartment and we see him giving Katsuni a bath while she tells him about a man she loves. He’s surprised by her confession, but his stoic façade doesn’t crack. Instead, Manuel finds an interesting use for a stick of butter sitting on a table near the mattress on the floor. When Katsuni wakes up from her nap afterward, Manuel is gone.


At dinner with James, Katsuni is disinterested in his attempts at conversation. He shocks her with a marriage proposal, which he pitches as a career move. We don’t hear her answer, but afterward we see Katsuni nursing a drink at a bar when Manuel appears. He finally starts telling her his name and other things about himself, but Katsuni appears to think it’s too late.


They return to the apartment. This time they slowly make love – it feels like lovemaking, not just the frantic fucking of horny strangers. There is potent sadness underneath, however, and when Katsuni starts telling Manuel she loves him, he can’t seem to say it back. He looks as if he wants to say it, but maybe he can’t make his mouth form the words. Instead, he asks her to tell him again as she rides on top of him. We already know by the title that there will be no happy ending.


Last Tango is a quintessential tale of the classic “come here, go away boy” and the girl who loves him. It’s surprisingly touching in a way not usually reserved for talking about porn.


Last Tango
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