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Posts Tagged ‘Blythe Danner’

Blythe Danner, John Lithgow

“THE TOMORROW MAN” My rating: 

94 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

Not even the dynamic duo of John Lithgow and Blythe Danner can save “The Tomorrow Man,” a film so determined not to be your typical geriatric love story that it goes way too far in the other direction.

Ed Hemsler (Lithgow) lives in small-town America (it looks like Iowa) and is, to put it mildly, eccentric.

“I just want to be ready,” Ed tells his grown son in a telephone call, and we soon realize what that means.

Ed is a prepper. He has a secret room filled with survival supplies and he watches TV news constantly, looking for signs that it’s time to bunker down.  He’s arrogant, believing that the rest of us are self-deluding nincompoops. He keeps his house spotlessly clean. (Of course, he also imagines that the lady newscaster speaks to him directly.)

Ed isn’t a total loon. He can pass for more-or-less normal on his trips to the store to pick up bottled water, canned tuna and other essentials.

That’s where he spots Ronnie (Danner), a fellow septuagenarian who seems as timorous as Ed is self-assured.  Basically he stalks her (Ed knows his way around the Internet), planning out “accidental” meetings.

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Blythe Danner

Blythe Danner

“I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS” My rating: B

92 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

There’s no other way to put this…at age 72 Blythe Danner seems more beautiful, more luminous, and more talented than at any time in her life.

And “I’ll See You in My Dreams” is an ideal vehicle both for this terrific actress and for exploring issues of age.

Death is never far off in director Brett Haley’s dramedy (co-written with Marc Basch).  In the first scene septugenarian Carol Peterson (Danner) must put down her canine companion of 12 years. While the pooch was around she could always rely on its undivided devotion, but now this widow of 20 years is starting to feet mortality’s tug.

Oh, Carol has what looks like a fairly full life.  Money’s not a problem. She’s got a group of gal pals (Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, Mary Kay Place) with whom she shares bridge, golf and gossip (one of the film’s strong suits is its dialogue, which sounds like real people jabbing rather than the usual moviespeak).  Her friends would like Carol to move into the retirement community where they all live, but she relishes the independence — and perhaps the solitude — of the home she shared with her husband.

“I don’t like life all complicated,” she says. Funny how complications seem to find her.

Despite her misgivings, Carol senses that she’s in a retirement rut. That may be why she reluctantly allows herself to be talked into a round of geriatric speed dating, a hilarious/appalling experience that only convinces her that solitude is preferable to the the male pickings after 65.

 

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