Leisure Seeker

Let's trot out the old war horses and enjoy another Movie For Grownups. (I'm becoming quite fond of this category.)

Based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian, Italian writer/director Paolo Virzì ("Like Crazy") brings us an R-rated entertaining, involving and ultimately satisfying story about a retired husband and wife who go on the lam and take their RV out on the road for one last trip.

Virzì's cast is led by the war horses:
  • Donald Sutherland ("The Hunger Games") It's clear that John Spencer is suffering from some memory problems. I kept wondering if he was fit to drive! His English literature background comes back in fits and starts.
  • Helen Mirren ("Trumbo") His wife Ella shows all of the fatigue, impatience and frustration that we can expect from a primary caretaker. Plus she has problems of her own. But watch her when their vehicle breaks down! She resents the many females who clearly have admired her husband over the years.
  • Dana Ivey ("Madam Secretary") Lillian has been friends with the Spencers for a LONG time! Now she lives next door.
  • Christian McKay ("Florence Foster Jenkins") Their son Will goes ballistic when he realizes what they have done.
  • Janel Moloney ("The Leftovers") Jane tries to soothe her brother but it's an uphill battle.
  • Dick Gregory ("Steppin: The Movie") In his last movie role before his death in August, 2017,  here he is John's long-standing rival, Dan Coleman.
As our intrepid couple sets out in their elderly Winnebago, all we can do is worry. We worry about John's ability to drive, Ella's ability to contain her frustration and the Winnebago's ability to last for the whole trip. On the other hand, we enjoy the scenery, the RV parks and even that political rally they blunder into.

Although Mirren's southern accent comes and goes (her character is from South Carolina), she perfectly inhabits the character's long-married mannerisms; the fussing, the kvetching and the occasional rage. But their ups and downs have an authentic feel. We left the screening in a quiet glow.
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Take a look:
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