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Annie, Jean, Claude, Albert and Jeanne have been friends for over forty years. But they are growing old and old age tends to be synonymous with reduced autonomy, loss of memory, illness, retirement home and, worst of all, separation. One day, one of the five friends suggests to say no to isolation and loneliness: what if they lived together? Written by
'If you don't see any objection, I'd rather decompose at home.' Coming of Old Age
ALL TOGETHER (Et si on vivait tous ensemble?) is an important French film written and directed by Stéphane Robelin that addresses the ever more important question of aging. People are living longer and while that has its benefits it also poses problems not only for the aging population who must learn to cope with their diminishing facilities but also for the families of those who may not be content with their fading importance and individuality. In other words, how will we each cope with getting old without loved ones that are willing to hold our hand and be comfortably at our side until the end? Films such as this are being created more frequently (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel form this year also addressed similar issues as The Bucket Plan and other in the recent past). Where ALL TOGETHER differs is in the honest way the feelings and expectations and coping codes are managed with dignity without losing the lightness of comedy.
Annie (Geraldine Chaplin) Jean (Guy Bedos) are a married couple who live in a home large enough to accommodate others: their grandchildren no longer visits, a fact the Annie feels could be rectifies by building a swimming pool but Jean objects: Claude (Claude Berhnard) is reaching 75 and since his wife died he has been satisfying his needs with hookers until a heart attack impedes his performance abilities and he must seek pharmacologic enhancement; Albert (Pierre Richard) has Alzheimer's and is increasingly forgetful while his wife Jeanne (Jane Fonda) is hiding the fact that she has terminal cancer while at the same time planning her own rather lighthearted pink coffin funeral. These five 70ish people have been friends for over forty years. But they are growing old and old age tends to be synonymous with reduced autonomy, loss of memory, illness, retirement home and, worst of all, separation. One day, one of the five friends suggests saying no to isolation and loneliness: what if they lived together? How this group of friends, with their accompanying old secrets and jealousies, interact in the new development of living in Annie and Jean's home - with the added assistance from young ethnology student Dirk (Daniel Brühl) who happens to be writing a thesis on the aging population - results in many credible, tender stories of need and interaction in the 'golden years.' An uplifting film about the better aspects of growing old - with friends.
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