A Bleeker Street Media production, collaborating with executive producers Shirley McClaine and Amanda Seyfried, is under the direction of filmmaker Mark Pellington to bring the film audience The Last Word. Legendary actress Shriley MacLaine shines brightly on the silver screen with an unforgettable performance in a magical tale about life, love and the joys of redemption.
Pellington takes a remarkable story that crosses the generations discovering that a change of ones destiny can happen at any age and "an unexpected friendship can begin at the end".
The accomplished, rich and yet elderly, Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine) contemplates her own mortality. Self-consumed and with no real purpose for living other than being a controlling aristocrat who's critical of her hired help, Harriet is tired, lonely and depressed. A near miss to take her own life puts her back into the world of the living. Puzzled as to how she survived, Harriet thinks about another attempt but decides to postpone it for another day.
Harriet's doctor is convinced that she is suffering from something serious and against her wishes he wants to figure out the issue. Equally strong-willed than she, the doctor orders a battery of in-depth tests. Curious to know the results, Harriet waits. She resumes her daily-routine which entails reading the local newspaper. She casts her eyes upon a recent obituary column. People she knew were featured.
The flowery-wording of each obituary (Obit) article annoys her. Harriet knew the words said about them were not true. In her anger, she marches down to the newspaper building and tells the chief-Editor and owner, Thomas Sadoski (Robin Sands) that she would like to hired his Obit writer, Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried) to write her obituary. Since she is still living Harriet wants to make sure the newspaper gets it right. Nothing controlling about that now, is there?
The first encounter with Anne and Harriet doesn't go well. Anne's opinion of Harriet is one of distain. Anne refuses to be bullied into the job until her editor-in-chief makes it clear that if she is able to appease Harriet she would keep her writing job. He adds that the newspaper might stand a chance to survive if a sizable donation is mentioned in Harriet's will.
Begrudgingly, Anne meets with Harriet the following day. Harriet gives Anne a list of people to contact for information. To no surprise, Anne finds that not one person has anything positive to reveal. Saddened but not defeated by the news, Harriet teaches Anne four aspects of a good obituary. Anne takes kindly to the teaching and sets out to discover the four points for Harriet's Obit. In Harriet's opinion, the deceased should: 1) Be loved by their family, 2) Be admired by their colleagues, 3) Must have touched someone's life unexpectedly--if that person is a minority or a cripple so much the better, 4) Must have a wild card.
Harriet's additional teaching to Anne explains that the opening statement of an obituary should have the wonder or the breathe of a wild card. Harriet could not yet identify what her wild card could be and needed Anne to help her find it.
In search for Harriet's wild card, the two embark on an adventure worth describing in words. A journey that will hopefully bring to fruition an Obiturary pleasing to Harriet--the expression of the love and life accomplishments of Harriet Lauler. An obituary Harriet's family, friends and colleagues will bare-witness to and remember fondly her true-grit. (Karen Pecota)
To alter ones future and is to alter ones legacy...~Anne Sherman & Harriet Lauler