Friday, November 1, 2013

Last Vegas

Review by Bob Ignizio

In his recent review of LATE BLOOMERS for this blog, Charles Cassady, Jr. wrote, “Beware what you wish for, you may get it.” He was talking about movies aimed at grown-ups, and this particular example proved to be disappointing. Charles should count his blessings that at least he didn't have to see LAST VEGAS. The worst charge he could level against BLOOMERS was that it was a, “fitfully engaging dramedy.” LAST VEGAS isn't even that good. 

This is the kind of movie that seeks to appeal to the over 50 demographic by throwing together a bunch of past their prime big name stars, the assumption being that old people are just inherently funny, and when you have old people trying to have sex, they're even funnier. The plot is like an eighties teen sex comedy on Viagra. The film starts with a flashback to 58 years ago when a group of kids calling themselves “the Flatbush Four” were the best of friends. There was also a girl named Sophie who liked two of the boys, Billy and Paddy, but even that romantic rivalry doesn't strain the friendship too much. 

After the credits we flash forward to the present and learn the fate of these kids. In the present day, they all have issues related to aging. Billy (Michael Douglas) tries to stave off his fear of growing old and dying with young girls; Sam (Kevin Kline) has lost pretty much all enthusiasm for life, including his marriage to Miriam (Joanna Gleeson); Archie (Morgan Freeman) is a virtual prisoner in his own home, his son Ezra (Michael Ealy) scared to let him do anything since his stroke; and Paddy (Robert DeNiro) just sits home and mourns the loss of Sophie, who he wound up marrying.

When Billy proposes to his jailbait girlfriend, he calls Sam and Archie who rib their friend for his cradle robbing ways, but nonetheless propose to throw him a bachelor party in Las Vegas. The only problem is getting Paddy to come along. He's been despondent since the death of Sophie, and holds a grudge against Billy for not attending her funeral. Of course everyone eventually gets together in Vegas and wacky hijinks ensue. In Vegas the gang also meets lounge singer Diana (Mary Steenburgen) who forms the center of a new romantic rivalry between Billy and Paddy.

It's all pretty vapid and dumb, but there are a few laughs. Whether there are enough laughs to please a sizable portion of the film's over fifty target demographic, even when they're so starved for movies made for people their age that they're willing to lower their standards a bit, I cannot say. All I know is that I was always taught to respect my elders, and I think they deserve better than this. Hell, I'm almost an elder myself. I deserve better than this.  2 out of 4 stars.

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