A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.A swinger on the cusp of being a senior citizen with a taste for young women falls in love with an accomplished woman closer to his age.
There are two things recommending this film: Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Alone and together they are funny and alive. You might expect their individual strengths, but they actually have chemistry, or at least rapport, on screen.
The story is fun and funny and heartwarming, and you kind of know what's going to happen much of the time. And you want it to, so you get that confirmation and have fun watching the two be together (or not) as their relationship grows and changes. Director and writer Nancy Meyers is pretty straight forward here--and if she's no Nora Ephron (lacking finesse and wit at that level), she's got the right idea. You can picture a better film, smoother and more cinematic, under a different director (there are some clunky visual decisions if you are looking), but the story keeps it going.
The rest of the cast? Mostly what you'd expect. Keanu Reeves is better than usual, playing an unplayed role nicely, and Frances McDormand is funny but a bit awkward here, as if miscast, or at odds with the director. Amanda Peet as the daughter is cheerful enough but I found her unconvincing in her role scooping up a rap record label womanizer (Nicholson) three times her age.
It's the unlikeliness of the main match-up that makes the movie work, of course, and in a way they dive into their success too easily. (A screwball comedy would have sustained the tension until the last scene, and here they keep it in the air for about five minutes.) Of course, this is a standard romantic comedy, and the romance figures heavily. And there are turns in the feelgood plot that make it rise above. And make it worth watching twice, believe it or not, at least with a few years rest. The performances are what remain sparkling and new.
You might have trouble, as I do every time I see this movie (and it's been a few times for some reason) with the last scene. It's meant to be sudden and dramatic, but the previous scene doesn't quite set things up that way. Sort of, but not quite, and the validity of the change of heart at the end is necessary. But then of course the snow falls and Paris is beautiful and life is beautiful and we all have hope. It's a feel good movie that really works.
- Apr 25, 2013