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Awesome: 29.41%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 11 user ratings

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Boynton Beach Club
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by William Goss

"Oldie But Goodie"
3 stars

In case you live elsewhere, let me inform you that Boynton Beach is one of several retirement communities that litter the southeast coast of Florida, where every other vehicle is a Mercury, Lincoln, Chrysler, tricycle, or scooter. The 'Boynton Beach (Bereavement) Club' is a senior support group that consists eight widows for every widower, all of whom pass the time by wooing each other. However, the bereavement bit has been conveniently omitted from the title in order to suggest more good grief than sad sorrow and/or reduce such lengthy alliteration upon a marquee. Either way, the affair isn’t sap-stricken but a harmless charmer destined to be effortlessly enjoyed by Baby Boomers and easily entertain anyone else.

Right off the bat, Marilyn (Brenda Vaccaro) loses her husband and reluctantly agrees to join the Club, where she soon buddies up with Lois (Dyan Cannon). A similar pairing takes place between Jack (Len Cariou) and the suave Harry (Joseph Bologna), and soon enough, each lead is being advised on how to create sparks in an effort to lure the opposite sex back into their lives.

The film, like the characters, seems to embrace its brasher bits. It would appear that the age of 65 might not be quite the ultimate threshold for (brief) nudity, (minor medical) marijuana use, (slight) profanity, and sexuality. In fact, the topic of sex is frequently mentioned, although never too explicitly, serving as a constant reminder to viewers that seniors may not have forgotten all about the birds and the bees quite yet. Today’s elderly lovers are armed with cell phones and online dating services, and are eager to relearn cooking and driving in their efforts to hit on each other. A shirt proclaiming that “old age isn’t for sissies” runs a bit on the obvious side, but a sly remark unwittingly dismissing a neighbor as “a typical Florida driver” is just too true to write off, at least for those of us who actually reside here. Although most codgerly conventions are otherwise avoided, several generalizations, such as Goth grandkids, snot-nosed brats, and every other kind of short-tempered whippersnappers, are allowed to slide, thanks to double standards that seemingly justify reverse-ageist stereotyping. As a teenager, I do feel an obligation to bring to light such typically accepted gestures, even if they don’t impede the story as a whole.

Director Susan Seidelman has gone from Desperately Seeking Susan to desperately seeking seniors, treating the direction and screenplay with a mere sufficiency that reflects more her recent television work and satisfactorily suits the material. The whole ambiance is kept lightweight, paired with an equally upbeat color palette and soundtrack. Cozy old-school ditties permeate the picture and always happen to start on cue whenever someone flicks on a radio, while any and all original music is a constant variation of the Sex and the City theme. The relationship segments are entirely foreseeable as each woman tries to make her man drool (voluntarily), and even the theme of the conventional climactic dance is tailored to be a New Year’s sock hop. The entire ensemble doesn’t have to work too hard to keep the film afloat and do as good as anyone could, with no particularly performances standing out for better or worse.

Considering how easy to please such an audience tends to be, 'BBB' is not necessarily a hip-busting good time, but it is positively quaint enough to be embraced by its core demographic and withstood by everybody else. When it hits video, go ahead and do your folks a favor by bringing over a copy on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and popping it into that new-fangled DVD player. Both geriatric flirting and fare could certainly be worse.

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originally posted: 06/04/06 22:45:24
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/15/08 Donna Cute for Seniors 3 stars
8/16/06 Lee Hartgrave Desparate Housewives and Desparate Husband. It's the Old Folks 'American Graffiti'. 4 stars
8/05/06 J Rogers Upbeat, fun movie with a POSITIVE message! Thanks! 5 stars
7/09/06 Dave Stearns Enjoyable little slice of Florida EAST Coast retirement musings 3 stars
6/24/06 s.e. keays Outstanding! A riot! A REAL look at "seniors". Want the DVD!!! 5 stars
5/21/06 Maureen Depressing, predictable & not funny. 2 stars
4/11/06 Barbara Mae Really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it. Not over the top 4 stars
4/09/06 jw taylor fantastic 5 stars
4/05/06 cathy shotz very enjoyable, especially for Boynton Beach seniors 4 stars
4/02/06 annete loved it laughed alot worth seeing 5 stars
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  DVD: 06-Feb-2007


  23-Aug-2007 (M)

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