Last Vegas

I wish movies about seniors weren’t so goddamn awful and condescending. I know people over 65 who are robust, interesting, engaged. I know seniors with rich social lives and sharp minds, who may suffer from bladder issues but manage to keep from talking about for hours, even days at a time. Apparently screenwriter Dan Fogelman does not. Hollywood seems to think that the only thing worth noting about seniors is their doddering foolishness, and that’s too bad, because I think they’re finding that there’s a bigger and bigger senior audience, and someone’s got to start writing for them – perhaps even a senior citizen him or herself. Wouldn’t that be novel?

Last Vegas assembles a foursome of our favourite old guys – Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, and Kevin Kline. Michael Douglas faces down his own mortalityMV5BMjIzODA5ODA4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzQxMzE1MDE@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_ at a friend’s funeral by proposing to his very young girlfriend in the middle of the eulogy. His friends congregate in Las Vegas in order to throw him a bachelor party wild enough to pay tribute to a man who’d managed to stay one for over 70 years. Morgan Freeman has to escape from his strict and overly concerned son, DeNiro has to be coaxed out of apartment where he wallows in widowerhood, and Kevin Kline is all too eager to escape Florida, basically death’s waiting room.

But you know what? These old guys still have some life left in them. Director Jon Turtletaub waters the whole thing down though, like it’s the 38th sequel to The Hangover, and nobody thinks old people deserve or are capable of their own wild and crazy antics. Instead we’re treated to a litany of bad hip jokes. This quartet is quite charming, and even the cringe-worthy cliches they’re forced to deal in don’t completely negate that. But I know a 90 year old who danced with Elvis and did shots at my wedding. That’s not a script, that’s real life. Now well into her 90s, she still travels the world and paddles her own canoe. Not everyone is lucky to be in such good health but there’s a whole spectrum when it comes to aging, one that Hollywood seems loathe to explore. I think these venerated actors deserve better, and so do the people buying the tickets, whether or not they’re claiming a senior’s discount at the box office.

Advertisements

25 thoughts on “Last Vegas

  1. Mr. Bobinsky

    I guess none of them really cared about the final result. Just the idea itself of bringing together 4 legendary elderly actors seemed cool enough. Morgan Freeman was probably particularly interested since he’d already done this kind of movie with Jack Nicholson in 2007.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. D. Wallace Peach

    A great cast so it’s disappointing to hear the movie is so stereotypical. I notice that movies about groups of men will frequently portray them as emotionally, mentally, or behaviorally juvenile. Movies about elderly women seem to be more thoughtful. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. D. Wallace Peach

        Hmm – my husband watches them – the Hot Tub and Hangover movies come to mind. And anything with Will Ferrell, Ha. On TV, it’s almost all the sit-coms. The wives are the wise rational half of the partnership and the men are presented as nearly incompetent. Apparently, I have no sense of humor. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jay Post author

      That’s true. I did really love one with Blythe Danner. Although I equally loved another one by the same film maker starring Sam Elliott, called The Hero.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  3. The Lawn-Cutting Crew

    Sounds awful. I saw this movie in the bargain bin at the local Family Dollar, and I almost bought it just because of the actors. Sure glad I didn’t. I guess I figured there had to be a reason it was priced so cheaply.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Liz A.

    So true. There are plenty of older people who could write a good movie (probably a great movie–they’ve got decades of experience, and I don’t just mean life experience. There are plenty of great older writers). But Hollywood tends to dismiss older people. To their detriment, I imagine.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      I have 8 hours of work every day to watch movies, and that doesn’t count the ones I watch in my own time, or when I travel to a festival and watch 4-5 per day!

      Like

      Reply
  5. Dell on Movies (@w_ott3)

    I actually liked this one, but as you allude to, that’s thanks to the efforts of the cast more than anything else. You are absolutely correct on how this movie and plenty of others portray seniors Great write-up!

    Like

    Reply
  6. J.

    Morgan Freeman is getting used to these types of flicks now, eh? De Niro’s involvement doesn’t surprise me at all… he really needs to see about getting a new agent.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s