Over a year ago I wrote in this space about movies on aging, and solicited your suggestions. I got lots of suggestions, and more than a few were movies I hadn't thought about, or didn't remember, or hadn't seen. I've since viewed some of those, and I am glad that I raised the issue.
Now, however, I think I have the winner. It wasn't on the list simply because it didn't exist at the time. It is a documentary, rather than a dramatic (or comic, or romantic) movie. But if you haven't seen Young@Heart, you need to see it right away.
This little gem chronicles most of a single season for a Massachusetts choral group composed of seniors. Their director (in his early 50s, and consistently the youngest person on camera by a 20-year gap or more) badgers, cajoles and hectors them into performing startlingly clever covers of rock standards, punk, R&B and other songs you just don't expect to hear from a group of seniors.
It would be so easy to say this movie is heartwarming, or that the singers are delightful, or even (heaven forfend) cute. The movie doesn't descend to those levels, and that's not why I recommend it so highly. It is a touching story about a group of individuals, and most of them shine as, well, individuals. Cliches of aging are not just ignored, they are slapped around. And yet mortality intervenes.
I have a hard time saying enough positive about this movie. Can you tell I liked it? Take my advice, and watch it.
Robert B. Fleming
Fleming & Curti, PLC