You wouldn't think that a movie about the
senior citizen dating scene would be worth watching, right? I
didn't either, but after dragging myself to the theater, I have to
admit that I'm glad I gave "Boynton Beach Club" a chance.
An indie that is making the rounds here in
Washington, "Boynton Beach Club" is about a small community in
Florida that has a fairly unique social club--many of its members
are widowers, and to cope, they regularly meet on Tuesdays to
discuss the problems they are having adjusting to life on their own.
It's also a pretty hot pickup scene! You've got one of the
newest members, Marilyn (Brenda Vaccaro), who loses her husband
right as the film opens, when a woman just chatting away on her cell
phone neglects to check behind her when she backs up her car,
killing Marilyn's husband. Marilyn meets our other new
friends: ladies' man Harry (Joseph Bologna), who has a
penchant for meeting seniors online; Jack (Len Cariou), who comes to
realize that he never really knew his wife of 40 years while getting
to know--intimately--a woman named Sandy (Sally Kellerman) who lives
down the street; and of course, there's Lois (Dyan Cannon), a
veritable stick figure in this slightly-overweight community that
has "town hottie" written all over her. Despite the fact that
she's pushing 70, Lois is down with a local real estate developer
(Michael Nouri) who has got an eye for her.
We've got some storylines to follow, but
"Boynton Beach Club" is mainly about getting us into the highs and
lows of being single and 65; beyond that, it is fun to see the
comedic and dramatic elements of what the scene might be like for
someone that has only seen one person naked in the last 40 years, or
someone that hasn't cooked their own meals in...well, ever, or
someone that no longer drives because the man that used to drive her
around is suddenly a member of the deceased. There are some
truly great laughs in this film, which kind of surprised me;
director Susan Seidelman does a somewhat-good job of keeping the
action on track, although sometimes her performers just don't feel
natural for some reason. I could never place it, but
sometimes, our comedy just felt a little too rehearsed.
Despite this, I really loved these
performers; there are many places that you look at and can't place,
but getting through that, the actors work well together.
Cannon's energy is a surprise given that she really is almost 70
years old in real life; is this the same woman always jumping up and
down at Lakers games? I don't think I've ever seen a Cannon
film but I must go back to check out her catalog of work.
Bologna is playing the funniest character in the film; between
giving out advice to Jack or going out on a date with someone that
he meets online, the laughs his character generates are steady and
maybe the film's best asset. Of course, Vaccaro and Cariou are
solid, but the film's best acting might belong to Kellerman as the
aging, vulnerable former sexpot who has some tough moments later in
I didn't love it, but as a serviceable
comedy covering a much-avoided topic, "Boynton Beach Club" is good
stuff. Again, check your local listings; this one may or may
not hit an indie multiplex near you soon.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard