When the fourth and final member of a posse of childhood friends – now far removed from that time in their lives – finally decides to tie the knot, his other three compadres insist on/are roped into throwing him an epic bachelor party in Vegas, despite the fact that they should all be far too old for such antics.
It’s no secret that I was not looking forward to this movie. In fact, it made my list of five least anticipated films of the Fall. An old people version of The Hangover? No thank you. I didn’t like the young people version to begin with. Thankfully, the trailers have been lying to you. This is really nothing like The Hangover and despite the aging cast, is pretty light on the geriatric humor as well. That cast, by the way, includes Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, and Mary Steenburgen.
Once inseparable buddies, four men have gone their separate ways as the years have passed. Paddy (De Niro) has recently lost the love of his life and is stuck in a perpetual state of mourning alone. Sam (Kline) is unhappily retired in Florida with his wife – bored out of his mind. Archie (Freeman) is living a life sheltered and controlled by his son who is worried he’ll have another stroke. When Billie (Douglas) decides on a whim to get married to a girl less than half his age, Sam and Archie jump at the chance to relive their heyday by going to Vegas, dragging a reluctant Paddy with them.
This being a comedy, antics and adventures ensue, as do various escapades. Nothing so outrageous as in the aforementioned Vegas themed comedy though. What the trailers fail to make clear is that this is first and foremost a movie about a group of friends relearning what it means to be friends. Second it’s a movie about finding love. And yes, it is also about having a bit of a crazy time in Sin City.
What saves this movie from being as tired as the aged participants in Sam’s pool aerobics class is that none of these actors are phoning it in – something they could have easily done with a script and concept that are not terribly intricate or deep. There’s a lot of great chemistry here and you feel like you are actually watching four old friends together – which is probably the case if you think about it.
The film has a lot of sweet moments, as well as a lot of humor, and only a few cringe inducing scenes. Obviously, there is a very specific demographic this movie is going for – the aging one – and I’m guessing it will hit the mark well. It has some well placed humor that does not rely too much on self deprecation, and is light on the offensibility, given the plot. It’s well done enough, though, that even those not in AARP will likely find it at least above tolerable. It’s a sweet film with laughs and heart and maybe even a life lesson thrown in there too.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“It was a lot better than I thought it would be. Kind of like a chick flick for old people?”
My rating: Three out of five hats
Last Vegas parties it up in 3,065 theaters, November 1