Late Bloomers

Late Bloomers

Directed by Julie Gavras

Late Bloomers chronicles the lives of Mary (Isabella Rossellini) and Adam (William Hurt), who have been married for 30 years. A series of life events and an episode of memory loss prompt retired teacher Mary to undergo a medical exam, which in turn stimulates a lot of contemplation about her upcoming sixtieth birthday. This life reassessment happens alongside husband Adam buying a large-buttoned telephone specifically designed for the elderly, and it isn’t long till Mary’s reaction to her own aging leads her to become so aggravated that she eventually drives Adam out of their home. Adam then undergoes his own “mid-life” crisis, involving wearing hoodies and flirting tastelessly with one of his young coworkers.

Late Bloomers has its moments, but overall just comes across as an awkward journey into old age. There are some decent swings at society’s general attitude towards aging, but the jokes fall far short of actual laugh-out-loud humour. The film comes across as slightly dreary and dry at times. The scenes are muddled at points, and are backed by an awkward musical score that doesn’t fit the intended mood.

Ultimately, the movie was unmemorable and would probably not be of interest to anyone who is not a fan of the two main actors or hasn’t given the concept of aging much thought. The underlying themes are of some interest, but essentially Late Bloomers was dull and lacked any real spark. It might be of relevance to men or women of a certain age who have pondered the philosophical consequences of getting older, but doesn’t hold much significance for those under 50. All in all, it came across as a poor man’s version of It’s Complicated.

2 / 5 stars
This article first appeared in Issue 19, 2012.
Posted 4:49pm Sunday 5th August 2012 by Taryn Dryfhout.