Our Souls at Night is a gorgeously written movie about human relationships. But first, let me tell you how I got there.
I wanted to be ‘on trend’ so thought I’d watch a couple of segments of Love, Sex & Robots on Netflix. I mean, who can knock the title? In my head I thought, Anomalisa, but happier and jazzier. Nope! There was ZERO love in the first two and a quarter segments. There was no sex in the first one and in the second, if you count three minutes of animation at 78 rpm and from an aerial distance of a helicopter, well, ok. But there sure were robots. Ugh!
Fortunately, I remembered a movie I had looked up the Rotten T score for and found it to be in the 90’s, Our Souls at Night with an octogenarian romance between Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. And I fell in love, first and foremost with the screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, who I had actually already been in love with: The Disaster Artist, Spectacular Now, and 500 Days of Summer.
The movie was spot on with male female relationships, and uniquely a subtopic I had not seen addressed before that I find myself in over and over again. And it’s no one’s ‘fault’, but I had a new revelation regarding it because of this film. On a date, (or even mid relationship!) men will wax poetically about a past love. Now, mentioning briefly about our past is perfectly normal, but the waxing part is the key here. But because of the dialogue and situation in this movie, where Jane candidly confronts Robert by saying, “It sounds like you’re still in love with her,” I now have a new perspective after Robert thoughtfully replies, “I think I’m more still in love with the memory.” This helped me realize that men, by nature and biology are less sensitive (some, not all, of the time) AND that yes, indeed, most probably are simply recounting Glory Days and feeling wistful.
The movie also showed how its possible to ask kids to disconnect from technology and actually engage in a hobby (model trains) and nature (camping). I thought back to The Waltons and the beautiful simple pleasures displayed in that show. But let me tell you people, Our Souls at Night was a sexy Waltons on hormone therapy because the love and romance portrayed were, dare I say, hot? Yes, I said it.
Shout out to the minor characters who were also beautifully drawn and portrayed by; Bruce Dern (I love you!) Matthias Schoenaerts (The Mustang!!! and here as Jane’s son) and his little boy, Ian Armitage who stole the show at times with his childhood innocence.
I can’t believe this came out in 2017. Our Souls at Night, where have you been? Oh yes, that’s right, buried in all the violent stupidity on every venue and channel in America. Let’s stop ingesting that crap and start promoting wholesome people to people relationship films.
At 84 and 85, Jane and Robert deserve kudos for having more love and sex than Love, Sex & Robots. And for being brave enough to continue acting passed their own glory days and the latter for also producing what we all need right now. It’s not tricky and the Beatles sang it best…all we need is love.