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"Young at Heart"

Directed by Stephen Walker.
Release Year:  2007

Review Date:  4/9/2008

Folks--

Thanks to the fact that my lovely fiancée Meg loves old people, and the fact that my friend Tricia sent me a freebie, I took Meg to see the new documentary "Young at Heart" and it's a winner no matter who you are.  That's because Stephen Walker's film makes it so easy:

First, it's about a troupe of 70-something, 80-something and even 90-something senior citizens who collectively sing as a choir known as Young @ Heart, which does performances all over the world singing both popular radio hits and rock/soul classics.  Second, we get to watch the group live their lives and rehearse three times a week for two months to get ready for a show, so we get the traditional comedy that comes from picking six or seven key "characters" as they go about the rehearsals, how they live their life at home, how they are all having health problems, etc.  And, third--we get randomly-placed music videos done by the director and the choir's main stars, all of which are utterly hilarious.

Seriously, you have to almost literally be the anti-Christ in order to not at least really like this movie.

Kind of like my experience watching last spring's "Darius Goes West: The Roll of His Life", "Young at Heart" is incredible in its ability to change styles on the fly; in one scene, you'll be laughing at one of those aforementioned music videos, then in the very next scene, one of the choir members dies of pneumonia and you are near tears mourning a character that you had fallen in love with for the first hour of the movie.  "Young at Heart" is occasionally that powerful, and it's another in a long line of movies that reminds us that it's not how old you are, but how old you feel, and the seniors in this movie could give a good kick in the ass to any of us who regularly spout off how tough life is in our...early 30s.

I don't want to say too much about this film, but I strongly advise you to check this out; we saw a freebie tonight but the film opens around April 18th...check it!

Rating:  Opening Weekend

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

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 "Office Space"). 

"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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09