Release Date: August 4th, 2006 (Paris Theatre) by Roadside Attractions/Samuel Goldwyn Films.
The Cast: Joseph Bologna, Dyan Cannon, Len Cariou, Sally Kellerman, Michael Nouri, Brenda Vaccaro, Renée Taylor, Mal Z. Lawrence.
Directed by Susan Seidelman.
BASIC PREMISE: Five adults find romance while at the Boynton Beach Bereavement Club in Florida.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Boynton Beach Club has a delightful ensemble cast with plenty of comic energy and charisma. In the opening scene, a woman (Taylor) runs over and kills a jogger while she backs out of her driveway. The jogger happens to be the husband of Marilyn (Vaccaro) who now has a good reason to join the Boynton Beach Bereavement Club along with her neighbor, Lois (Cannon). Jack (Cariou) and Harry (Bologna) also join the club in hopes of finding a more active social life—or a second chance at romance. After a club meeting, Sandy (Kellerman) flirts with Jack and asks him out to dance. Harry, the most young at heart, finds romance on the internet but when he arranges a meeting with a sexy woman, he gets much more than he bargained for. Lois meets the charming Donald (Nouri) who claims to be in the real estate business. Co-writer/director Susan Seidelman does a great job of combining comedy, romance and drama while going back and forth between the different relationships. Admittedly, some scenes feel a bit too brief with sudden jumps between relationships, but that doesn’t take away from the entertainment value. She introduces the main character in a very cute way by showing old photographs of them and their husbands when they were younger. Not all of the humor will make you laugh-out-loud, though—if only Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon were still alive, they would fit perfectly in this movie. Fortunately, Seidelman doesn’t resort to toilet humor. Yes, there are some sex-related jokes and references, but they never feel distracting. Thanks to great casting, a well-written script and convincing performances, each character feels believable, likeable and memorable. It’s easy to be absorbed in the plot because you actually care what happens to each character in this irresistibly entertaining, mature and refreshing romantic comedy.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Romance can occur at any stage in one’s life whether you want it to happen or not—some things are just beyond one’s control. Everyone deals with second chances at romance in different ways. Some people, like Harry, feel eager to get right back into the dating pool while other, like Jack, feel hesitant—even with the help of Viagra. It’s important to move on with your life, open up to other people and make the best of it while it lasts.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Delightful, funny and charming. The best romantic comedy since Love Actually.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "B" Menu