The things people do to impress, seduce or persuade other people to do can really take over one’s life. I worked part-time at a clothes store during the holidays one season. There was an employee who would buy an outfit for herself every time she had a new date. Even with the employee discount she had a running balance on her account for all the clothes she kept buying. She would tell me a new outfit was like the front door of a house you are trying to sell; you want it to make a good first impression before the buyer enters to check out the place. This always made me laugh and I would tease her that if someone only wanted to date her because she had a fancy logo on her blouse she should try to exchange the date for someone with a brain. I understand how most of us would like to make a good impression on someone we are meeting for the first time; but if the person is only interested on a surface level, I have no reason to strike up a relationship. It does not matter to me what a person wears or what they look like; I am concerned with what is inside of them. As for the outside aspect as long as my teeth are clean, my face is washed and I have nothing under my fingernails or hanging from my nostrils; I am good to go. The inhabitants of the small harbor town in this award winning comedy had more at stake in making a good impression. Acting mayor Murray French, played by Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter franchise, Gangs of New York), had to find a way to impress temporary doctor Paul Lewis, played by Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor, Battleship), so he would choose to remain and be the town’s resident doctor, possibly winning a bid for a new factory to be built close by. The mayor would need the entire town’s residents help if his plan was to succeed. This was a light, fun film that had good performances by Brendan and Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her, The Shipping News) as Simon. The story reminded me of those old fashioned screwball comedies from the 50s and 60s; maybe not as zany. There were parts where the action died down causing a lull in the story, making it somewhat boring. Some things may have been far-fetched but contained in a small town setting gave it a goofy vibe. There would be no need to dress up and rush out to see this film unless the other choices at the theater were not to your liking. This film made a decent impression on me.
2 1/2 stars
As if all the memories of the mind were black and white photographs, that were fading away to only blank snowy white, is how I look at Alzheimer’s disease. Besides a few relatives, my mother dealt with it for several years until her death. Gratefully, the sweetness in her intensified as the disease slowly polished away everything that was inside of her. Taking her to a restaurant, my mother would blow kisses to each table of patrons she passed. I remember there was an elderly couple who often frequented the same restaurant. The wife was nearly catatonic from Alzheimer’s disease. When my mother would come into this woman’s line of vision, the woman would come to life, insistently holding onto my mother’s hands. The two would smile at each other as if they were sharing a secret that no one else could possibly know. Julie Christie (Finding Neverland, McCabe & Mrs. Miller) was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Fiona Anderson, a woman who was aware her memory was starting to slip away. Gordon Pinsent (The Shipping News, The Old Man and the Sea) played her husband Grant Anderson. After some rockiness in the beginning, the couple settled into an easy, comfortable life together. Their closeness made it only harder when the time came for Fiona to move into a long term care facility. Making the change difficult for Grant was watching the woman he loved receding from him as she slowly began a different life at her new residence. The acting was outstanding from the whole cast. Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Look Who’s Talking) did a beautiful job as Marian, a woman traveling on a similar path as Grant. Though this was hard for me to watch due to personal reasons; this film told a thoughtful, tender story. It reminded me of the quote, “If you love someone, let them go…” The mother I knew left me long before she died; however, I have kept my memories of her safe, hanging them on the walls of my heart.
3 1/2 stars — DVD