The Time Of Their Lives is a film about two unlikely friends getting a second chance at life. It’s one where you feel like if it had had its own second chance it could have been excellent, but instead will have to settle for being just good. This is ultimately a light, comedy caper and buddy story about two old biddies letting their hair down on the road.
The story is written and directed by Roger Goldby who has worked on television shows like Call The Midwife. You get the sense that this film would make a better vehicle for television rather than the silver screen. The shots are pleasant enough and the leading ladies are put in fine performances, but entire package is not necessarily worthy of the big screen treatment.
Joan Collins stars as Helen Shelley, a self-obsessed, ageing actress who is living her twilight years in a nursing home. She had made a name for herself in a film called “Morty & Me” last century. When this film’s director and Shelley’s former lover passes away she decides to journey to France in order to gate-crash the funeral and network like hell in order to stage a career comeback.
Pauline Collins stars as Priscilla, a downtrodden English housewife who has been beaten into submission. She is married to a grumpy old man named Frank (Ronald Pickup (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)). The couple had a son who drowned when he was a young boy and it seems like Frank has never forgiven his wife. Frank is a domineering and controlling man who admonishes Priscilla over purchasing biscuits. When Helen meets the pair during a pit stop on a seaside day trip for the home’s residents, she senses that Priscilla could do with an adventure and she’s right.
The pair pool their resources together and journey to Île de Ré in France in a road trip that is not unlike a geriatric Thelma & Louise at times. Along the way they meet a kind and reclusive Italian artist (Franco Nero (Django Unchained)). The old folks get up to their fair share of outrageously predictable behaviour and hijinks. They take drugs, drive on the wrong side of the road and act like dotty pensioners. It’s a pleasant, if slightly predictable story.
The Time Of Their Lives may not deliver this kind of thing to its viewers but it is still a gentle comedy featuring two wonderful actresses. The pair’s unlikely friendship and on-screen chemistry provide some tender and sweet moments even if there are other times where the film required a little more care and attention. This light comedy about ageing, friendship and life choices is an enjoyable, down-to-earth caper that may not be perfect, but at least it doesn’t leave you hanging or riding along the road to nowhere.
Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Time of Their Lives hits cinemas on 10th August 2017