Bright Days Ahead

Baby boomers are retiring in droves now, with plenty of disposable income to spend on movies. This might be the reason that in the past couple years I’ve reviewed at least a half-dozen features (and seen at least that many outside work) about middle-class characters in their 60s who reevaluate their lives after retiring or losing touch with their grown children. The crisis of how to spend one’s twilight years has inspired Hollywood comedies (the Meryl Streep-Tommy Lee Jones rom-com Hope Springs, the Billy Crystal atrocity Parental Guidance), indie fare (Old Goats), and European art movies (Le Week-End, On My Way). Consistent across these films is an underlying optimism that people can still evolve and find happiness after 60, as well as a sense of complacency about middle-class life. The characters rarely have to worry about money, which makes the issue of self-actualization relatively simple. Whatever the virtues of these films, they’re generally devoid of suspense. Continue reading >>