How can anybody in this day and age release such a stupid and embarrassing film as “Late Bloomers”? What was the writer and director Julie Gavras thinking when she made up a ridiculous story about a couple of senior citizens who are having marital differences over the theme of aging?
Think of the possibilities of such a theme. Think of its potential for humour, pathos, wisdom, inevitability of the passage of time. And you will be disappointed. The film sets your teeth on edge with its puerile references to getting older.
Can you imagine how it would feel if your partner suddenly started to rave on about old age because she was approaching 60? She begins to install disability aids in the bedroom and bathroom so that she can convince her husband that they are both aging and should prepare themselves.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Isabella Rossellini character, but she’s decided that her momentary memory lapse is due to senility. The MRI she demands shows that she’s okay. Pity there isn’t an MRI to test how annoying she is.
Anyway, the plot (I’m using the term loosely in this case) consists of her attempts to renew herself following the breakup of her marriage to a mumbling William Hurt. She has a haircut and tries to do aqua aerobics.
Her husband is still trying to be the world’s best architect and he is sick of his wife’s stupid antics. Aren’t we all! So he takes up some secret scheme to design a museum instead of designing a retirement home.
Get the message? I mean it’s really, really deep here. He don’t wanna get old!
They are surrounded by several older people such as the feisty mother played by Doreen Mantle (Mrs Warboys in “One foot in the Grave”) and even good old Leslie Phillips. Even Joanna Lumley has a role. She does the usual Joanna Lumley spiel and I’m always fond of her.
But nothing can save this idiotic set-up. William Hurt is totally miscast and must have been in need of the money when he accepted the role. Isabella is no Ingrid Bergman. She lacks her mother’s talent.
And as for Julie Gavras, writer, director and daughter of the famous film director, Costa-Gavras, I can only shake my head in dismay.
So why did I go to see it, you ask? Well, it was 38 degrees in Melbourne yesterday. Boiling hot here and we had had our long walk in the morning at Chadstone Shopping Valhalla (air conditioned, undercover) so we thought that a movie without violence or spies or coming to terms with your sexuality would be pleasant entertainment on such a scorching day.