So I’ve just returned home from a showing of Last Kiss, the new Zach Braff flick — which, PS, pales next to Garden State — and I’m excited to report that not only does Braff’s character drive a Prius throughout the movie, but the car actually gets mentioned in the first two lines.

As the film begins, the lens is focused knee-height at a number of women (with very nice legs) walking at a crosswalk. The camera then pans up very slowly to focus on the front of a black Prius — Toyota logo very much visible. As the shot continues to move up, two main characters — Michael (Braff) and Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) — are seen seated in the car.

Jenna says something to Michael to the effect of “What are you thinking about?” And Michael replies, “I was just thinking how convenient it is for me that it’s considered hip to drive a $20,000 hybrid car.” Or something like that. I only managed to scribble parts of that second line on my napkin — I didn’t know I would be taking notes for a blog post! (Though I suppose now I can write the ticket price off on my taxes … right?)

The dialogue continues on … though off the topic of the car entirely. I’m actually not quite sure why that line was in there. It reminded me of that awkward dinner conversation on Alias last spring. I wonder if Toyota had some sort of product placement deal.

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In any case, I’m not sure anyone else in the theater even noticed. But it’s great to see a hybrid car being put front and center on the big screen. I just wish it could be a little less contrived. And that we didn’t have to announce out loud that it’s hip. Because I’m pretty sure that just knocked it down a few notches on the hip-o-meter.

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