A Grand Romantic Gesture

We are never too old to take up something new in life. Especially when we are facing a difficult period. A new distraction can be a very good thing. This is the thinking behind Ava’s (Gina McKee – Notting Hill, Atonement) daughter and husband encouraging her to take a gourmet cooking class. They are worried about her facing the abyss of a forced early retirement due to losing her job. The prospect of becoming a grandmother is another change coming up for Ava.

Instead of a cooking course, she signs up for a drama class. There she is cast as the female lead in an amateur production of Romeo and Juliet. Against all expectations, as the first time she meets him she is rather disgusted by him, Ava falls in love with the man playing Romeo. Tricky thing is, like her, Simon (Douglas Hodge – from television’s The Great) is also married.

It is always a pleasant surprise when a filmmaker (in this case Joan Carr-Wiggin, director of A Previous Engagement and Honeymoon) decides to make a romantic comedy in which the focal points are middle-aged people. Romance has traditionally been the arena of the young when it comes to film. Gives it a different twist. Something greatly needed in the rather tired film genre. Should not be offensive the idea of falling in love after the age of forty.

Cute and enjoyable. The film is certainly not going to offend anyone. No, it is most likely going to pleasantly enough keep the attention of the viewer. Nothing mind blowing here or even different, other than the subjects being older than usual in this type of film, but because of the solid acting and likable leads you will find yourself rooting for them.

What dissuades you from categorizing this as a really good film is the pace. It moves along rather slowly. Too slowly, if I am to be completely honest. This ends up sucking a bit of the life out of the goings on.

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