I was looking forward to this road trip flick with Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren. But sadly, while they are both pretty great, the script for this movie, itself an adaptation of a well-reviewed book, feels hastily written without nuance or empathy for the characters. It’s the story is of a retired couple, John and Ella, he a former college professor with some sort of dementia and she his loving and patient wife with some unnamed, but advancing disease, taking off from their Boston home in their old Winnebago, heading for Key West to visit Hemingway’s house. Their kids are freaked out about it, but it could be John’s last chance to see the home of one of his favorite writers.
Along the way the two of them have a series of small adventures, several walks down memory lane, and some painful memories are exposed. John’s dementia puts them in all sorts of peril, but Ella is trying her best to hold him together, at least until they see the house. It’s not a total downer. There are some very funny moments, too. But with any other actors it would have been unwatchable. They get the cadence of a couple who’ve known one another for a lifetime just right. But in the end, I suggest waiting for this one to stream and then watching with your parents. Or not.
[Mainstream Chick’s take: Arty Chick is right. -hb]