Thursday, June 12, 2008

Love Comes Lately

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Virile Octogenarian Looks for Love and Lust in Wistful Romance Drama

80 year-old Max Kohn (Otto Tausig) is an Austrian émigré whose world view was substantially shaped by the Holocaust. Still, he overcame the trauma to become a celebrated fiction writer and now lives in Manhattan with Reisele (Rhea Perlman), his very jealous girlfriend of a dozen years.
Even at his advanced age, the accomplished author remains very busy between traveling to speaking engagements and cranking out steamy, semi-autobiographical tales about the sexploits of a geezer suspiciously similar to himself. But the virile octogenarian’s nomadic lifestyle tends to get him into trouble, for his erotic fantasies have a strange way of playing out in a surreal fashion given his active imagination and healthy libido.
An offbeat blending of Max’s wistful myths and actual conquests is the subject of Love Comes Lately, a bittersweet romantic romp written and directed by Jan Schutte. The German director based the picture on three short stories (“Alone,” “The Briefcase” and “Old Love”) by Yiddish Nobel Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Superficially, the scenarios which unfold reflect the perspective of an elderly Jew, since this is precisely Max’s point-of-view. Yet, they are simultaneously somehow universal in nature, since the essence of what he experiences remains commonly human.
His amorous adventures begin at a Miami hotel where he has a couple of close encounters, one with a seductive widow (Caroline Aaron) and another with a Latino maid (Elizabeth Pena) with a limp who likes Max because he treats her with respect. However, when he has second thoughts about cheating with her, she responds angrily, mistakenly feeling rejected because of her infirmity.
Next, he ventures to Hanover, New Hampshire to deliver a lecture only to end up in the arms of an ex-student (Barbara Herhsey) who now teaches Hebrew Literature at Dartmouth. Later, he entertains the advances of his still-grieving, new neighbor (Tovah Feldshuh) who informs Max that he reminds him of her recently-departed husband right before she uses her balcony as a launching pad.
Proof galore that Viagra has enabled a whole generation of frisky seniors to turn the clock way back. Eighty is the new Forty!

Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 82 minutes
Studio: Kino International

No comments: