There’s a certain demographic – call it the young senior set – that still enjoys a good, old-fashioned romantic comedy. The main characters must not only be handsome, but we’d like a little depth, please. Maybe even some contradictions, because nobody is really one-dimensional. Let’s present them as reasonable people confronted with an extraordinary situation and see if they can dare themselves outside of the box. We can’t just look at them all the time, no matter how appealing they are, so they have to have some friends, and maybe a few supporting cast characters who are interesting enough but won’t detract from the main attraction. Oh, and despite our years of experience, both in committed relationships and not, there’s still part of us that enjoys being romantics. Why not? The future is wide open, right? We can always reinvent ourselves, right? Oh, and you can make some old-age jokes, like sore muscles and hurt backs, but don’t go overboard and make us into helpless hopeless hypochondriacs. We may be exactly that, but we don’t want to pay to see it. What we would pay to see is a charming movie that will not only make us laugh, but also root for the romance, even if it is unlikely.
Richard (Pierce Brosnan) and Kate (Emma Thompson) are divorced from each other and have been for some time. But they find themselves at the same cocktail party and decide they might as well be civil to each other. It’s been long enough now that they don’t truly bear any grudges. They both have good jobs. Their daughter, who’s just now graduating, and about to make her way in the world, has turned out just fine. They’re both contemplating retirement, though a bit uncertain what that would look like for them.
We soon learn that Richard has begun to regret the time he hasn’t spent with Kate. She’s turned out to be an articulate, attractive “mature” woman, and the young bimbos just didn’t measure up. Kate, for her part, has been carrying on a correspondence with someone online and is eager to meet him, so she is understandably ambivalent about even seeing Richard again. Too confusing.
But one day Richard shows up at her doorstep and says he simply must talk to her. It seems that the company he’d worked for all these years has not only sold to an investor, but the investor is offloading it… but not before robbing its pension fund. Richard is devastated, not only about his own situation, but the faithful employees whom he’d developed affection for all these years. He didn’t want to let them down now.
At first, Kate is not sure how she can help, but understands that when desperate measures may be called for, Richard really does need her. They concoct a scheme to first confront the callous investor and when that doesn’t work, plot together to “steal back” the money that they feel he stole from them.
Don’t worry, it’s not that heavy, really. It’s all tongue-in-cheek, a little slapstick, a lot of physical humor and some wise-cracking dialogue. It’s just fun. A perfect date night movie for the “senior discount” matinee goers. We’re not trying to save the world here. Just having a few laughs, sometimes at our own expense. What’s wrong with that?
Ronald P. Salfen is the minister at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Irving, Texas.