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Friday, February 26, 2021

On Golden Pond (2001)

An aging couple spend their summers in Maine on a lake. The husband (Christopher Plummer) is a crotchety man obsessed with dying while his wife (Julie Andrews) attempts to push him toward being more active. This summer is complicated by a visit by their estranged daughter (Glenne Headly) who arrives with her new boyfriend (Sam Robards) and his 14 year old son (Will Rothhaar). Based on the play by Ernest Thompson and directed by Martin Pasetta and Thompson. I wasn't a fan of the popular 1981 film adaptation which garnered Oscars for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda as the aging couple. Although I liked this production better overall, I've come to the conclusion that it's just not a very good play. This isn't a remake of the film version but a live presentation of the original play with some changes by Thompson. The character of Charlie (played here by Brett Cullen) who was pretty much eliminated from the film version is restored. This version is minimally less sentimental than the film, we're spared Hepburn's quivering "You're my knight in shining armor!". Andrews brings a nice crisp no nonsense approach to the wife while Plummer puts some bite into his cranky geezer and neither actor feeds off their iconic images like Hepburn and Fonda did. In the film, our "affection" was for the actors while here, our feelings are connected to the characters. As the daughter, Headly is less actressy than Jane Fonda. But alas, I fear the material is hopeless regardless of the talent involved.

1 comment:

  1. Goodness, this can't be any worse then original, with wooden Old man Henry Fonda. The story is just embarrassing.