Some call this film a geriatric version of The Hangover. It is and it isn’t. It features mainly older Hollywood superstars, but only one hangover is seen and it seems to wear off after about five minutes.
The geriatric partygoers include, in order of age, Morgan Freeman (76), Robert De Niro (70), Michael Douglas (69), and Kevin Kline (66). Watch out Las Vegas – can you handle these guys?
Early scenes show the four as childhood best friends. Then 58 years go by and we see them keeping in touch but living far apart in different states and with very different life styles. MD is the only one who never married and lives the California lifestyle in Malibu. He decides to marry a 31-year-old. This leads to a bachelor party in Vegas.
It emerges that there was once a conflict between RD and MD, and RD doesn’t want to go to the party. However, he eventually shows up and complications ensue – some funny, some dripping with soap opera.
They also meet up with a lounge singer, who herself is no spring chicken, but a very cute Mary Steenburgen (60). The guys party out as best they can – A little gambling, some drinking, pool parties, and more drinking.
RD and MD seem like they will never get along. MS has her eyes on the rich and still cute MD, which causes more conflict between RD and MD.
All this leads up to a big party and the impending nuptials. Competition between RD and MD over MS seems to be reaching a fever pitch, when an event from the past is revealed that changes everything. Time for another drink.
While the storyline could be better, the high-powered, but elderly, cast rise above the soap opera material to tell a compelling story about friendship – not hangovers – that lasts. With a different cast, the film probably wouldn’t make the grade. But with four main stars who are all Oscar winners, LV comes out a winner – just not a major one.
MD made his film premier as an un-credited jeep driver in a film from 1966 starring his dad. It’s good to have connections. MF started out in a 1964 TV series playing a doctor. KK started out in a TV soap opera, which was also the debut of Don Knotts – but not the one you are thinking of. RD began in a low-budget black and white 1965 film in which he was one of two on screen performers.
Now they are all playing geriatric partygoers. It shows you can reach the Hollywood heights no matter how small your start. In 2013, an 84-year-old set a senior citizen marathon record, with an under-four-hour time. An 80-year-old climbed Mt. Everest for his third time – his first two summits were at ages 70 and 75. Now they want to go into movies.
Rated 2.9 out of 4.0 reasons to drink less and exercise more.