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Joseph Kotcher, a retired traveling salesman, lives with his son Gerald and daughter-in-law Wilma in Los Angeles. He dotes upon his young grandson Duncan irritating high-strung Wilma to the point that she hires Erica, a high school student, as a regular babysitter to replace his efforts. However, Grandpa Kotcher still gets on her nerves, and she convinces Gerald to move him out. To humor his son he agrees to take an apartment at a retirement facility, but after being subjected to some psychological tests he opts instead to take an extended vacation, traveling up the coast by bus. Erica leaves town at the same time, for upon discovering she is pregnant, Wilma fires her and she is sent away to work in San Bernadino by her uptight older brother Peter, who is also her guardian. Grandpa Kotcher returns weeks later to find a Halloween party underway and his room full of Wilma's sewing stuff. A waiting card from Erica explains that due to "serious difficulties" she cannot repay some money he... Written by
What a wonderful movie. For a change,Walter Matthau plays a sympathetic rather than a cantankerous character. He is just wonderful here in his Oscar nominated performance.
What makes the movie so good is that it doesn't really stress the attempt of his son and daughter-in-law to put him in a home and then show the misery of homes. Rather,it deals with the coming of life anew for Matthau when he takes a profound interest in the very pregnant babysitter for his grandson. What an interesting idea and it is so well developed.
Deborah Winters gives a fantastic supporting performance as the pregnant girl,orphaned, raised by an uncaring brother who finds meaning in her life when she aided by Kotch.
There is a totally winning song dealing with what you do with your life.
This film was definitely an under-rated gem. Too bad.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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