My first film review! Awesome! I realize that everyone that is going to see this film has already done so as it has been out for months. But I am poor and saw it in the cheap seats, so there you are. The cast is extraordinary. I would watch Bill Nighy, Judy Dench and Maggie Smith do a french noir interpretation of Barney the Dinosaur individually (much less all together). And lets face it when the English do an ensemble film, they really kick American films in the arse. Love Actually anyone? I know men that will sit through that film every Christmas, straight ones! I don’t know if its our culture, or just something in the water over there, but the most respected actors still come from the U.K. More importantly the women. Where in American Hollywood are the Judy Denches and the Helen Mirens of the States? We’ve got Kathy Bates, but beyond that pickens are slim. There is a place in Hollywood where actresses over 40 get stashed, like a commune. Its in Beverly Hills. I know. I used to work there. That’s where they all are, wrapping their faces around the backs of their heads and shopping on Robertson.
I went to see a movie on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the end of a short summer because I had nothing else to do. Not enough gas to get to the beach and too fat go to the river. The movies are still like this luxury to me. As a single parent for years it was either too expensive or I was too tired, or we were going to see some kids flick like Pokemon, an In-depth Introspective of Parental Torture. So now that I can just go disappear to the movies when I want it seems like an act of self indulgence. I love film. I am a never ending stream of film facts as annoying as any armchair quarter back. I have been looking forward to this film. I needed it like a depressed person needs Prozac. Getting older is not sitting well with me. And I could see from the trailer that this would be a lovely bit of fluff anchored by character genius that would tell us all:
“Getting old is not so bad!”
“It’s not like you have a choice. ”
“You might even get laid!”
And that is exactly what it was, wrapped up in a neat little package with all of my favorite actors and actresses, except Christopher Plummer. Am OBSESSED with Christopher Plummer.
He was notably absent. The characters had pretty stock issues. The Rocky Marriage. The Widow. The Older Man and Woman Who Still Want to Get Laid. The conflicted gay man born in the wrong era was a surprise, played artfully by Tom Wilkinson. The not-as-cute-as-Bill-Nighy-but-just-wonderful-an-actor….Guy. He was awesome and his story line was a surprise. The film while often predictable was eye candy. Just like Eat Pray Love an Indian back ground is nothing if not a gorgeous assault. Markets full of exotic fruits, piles of flowers and laughing children ignite a sense of art and adventure. So much so that I just wrote that. I was at my favorite Portland theater pub in a room that could easily be a sauna in another business. I guess us “old folks” just don’t go to the movies as much. I watched people stumble in. NO ONE was under forty. I felt like a teenager. I commented on the demographic to the cute gay couple behind me. Cuz remember I’m annoying like that and I talk to strangers. They laughed. Then one of them noted that it was a gorgeous Northwest day outside and that we were sitting in a dark theater at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. We are old, I said. That is what we do. We sit in dark theaters and drink on lovely days. Then we made stink eye at the Portlandia couple up front who had to taste every beer on tap before they ordered.
I loved the film. My biggest problem was with Penelope Wilton’s character who was married to Bill Nighy and she insisted on being unhappy and running after the gay character played by Tom Wilkinson. Really???!! You are married to Bill Nighy! The cutest geriatric smart ass in filmdom! Women. Even though I am one of them I just don’t understand.