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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble? (aka All Together) (2011)

Aging presents a group of five life long friends with a host of problems. A woman (Jane Fonda) dying of cancer must deal with a husband (Pierre Richard) in the early stages of dementia, an old lech (Claude Rich) with a penchant for prostitutes has a dangerous heart condition and an aging radical (Guy Bedos) and his wife (Geraldine Chaplin) feel abandoned by their children. Their solution: move in together! The aging population with their longer life spans and society's tendency to view them as non-entities is a topic ripe for exploration but when films are made about the elderly, they tend to treat them as objects of humor (the Jim Broadbent sequence in CLOUD ATLAS, the worst part of the film, was an example of this) so we get Don Ameche break dancing in COCOON or wacky Ruth Gordon riding on a motorcycle in HAROLD AND MAUDE. Maybe because it's French rather than Hollywood, this film treats the subject with a bit more dignity than usual and it's appreciated. Oh, there's still the cringe inducing "elderly cutsie" humor (like the lech on Viagra sequence) but for the most part, it's an often incisive look at the problems of aging in a society that just wants to shut them up in an old folks home and forget about them. Directed by Stephane Robelin. With Daniel Bruhl (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) as the young caregiver who moves in with them.

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