By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Friday, March 16, 2018
CLASSIFICATION 14A; 112 MINUTES
Directed by Paolo Virzi Written by Stephen Amidon, Francesca Archibugi, Francesco Piccolo and Paolo Virzi Starring Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren 2
Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland as a long-married couple - sign me up.
Just not for this particular movie. He plays John, an academic suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
She's Ella, his feisty wife, who's harbouring a secret (and an inconsistent Southern accent): She's dying of cancer. So she loads him into the family's eponymous, cobwebbed RV for one last adventure, toodling south from Boston toward Hemingway's Florida.
Along the way, we learn what we already know: Aging isn't easy. Mirren and Sutherland are two of the sexiest, most vital senior citizens alive; I'm sure it was an interesting challenge for them to play ordinary folk getting by.
But there's something inherently condescending in the film's treatment of John and Ella. I blame director Paolo Virzi (Like Crazy), who's Italian. Not only is this his first English-language film, it's an allAmerican road trip, studded with strip malls, tacky campgrounds and waving stars 'n' stripes. Sometimes an outsider's perspective is a breath of fresh air. In this one, you feel the director holding his nose.
The Leisure Seeker opens March 16.