A review of “Boynton Beach Club” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: Unrated but could be PG-13 for adult situations and images

Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

 

 

Writer/director Susan Seidelman crafts an old-fashioned romantic comedy that caters to the 60-plus set with bittersweet style.

Boynton Beach, Florida is an active adult community filled with frisky seniors in the transitions of life, much of them revolving around death. Enter the Boynton Beach Bereavement Club, a caring support group for widowed retirees who need to air their grief.

Seidelman plays it light and easy while launching her core ensemble. Marilyn (Brenda Vaccaro) and Jack (Len Cariou) have recently lost their longtime partners and are functioning on auto-pilot, unable to cope with the day-to-day tedium of bills, meals, and laundry.

With the help of kindly club members Harry (perennial ladies’ man Joe Bologna) and Lois (Dyan Cannon sporting a fright mask of a face-lift) Marilyn and Jack reluctantly jump back into the game. Jack – overwhelmed by condolence casseroles – tentatively starts dating an attractive widow named Sandy (Sally Kellerman) while Marilyn sets her sights on a driver’s license. Lois unexpectedly meets the man of her dreams (Michael Nouri of “Flashdance” fame) at a local diner. Or is he?

 “Boynton” delivers its message loud and clear – it’s never too late to love. Affairs of the heart are neatly packaged with the sticky wickets of adult relations – lies, games and cover-ups masking insecurities and fears.

The reality check of aging Baby Boomers (nary a health or financial woe in sight!) is mired in a cuddly, well-paced ensemble charm. Vaccaro, Cariou and Bologna have still got it going on – genuine to the core and frisky to boot. Nouri puts the va-va in sixties voom and Kellerman hasn’t lost a bit of her lean and sultry chic.

Despite some clumsy renderings of comic material and a slim-budget sensibility there is a gentle and persistent undercurrent of yearning and dignity. Sixty is the new forty indeed.