Monday, November 4, 2013
Last Vegas: Four Legends Who Still Have It
It's a buddy movie. No, it's a date movie. No, it's farcical comedy. No, it's romantic comedy.
No. It's all these.
Last Vegas is advertised as more or less a buddy movie. I have to admit that I have never been a real fan of the genre. They always seemed a little forced and a bit unreal. Still though, Hollywood continues to crank them out because despite the predictability of the genre, they tend to make money. I am sure that Last Vegas will be no different. What makes Last Vegas different is that it is also a romantic comedy or what has become known as a date movie. It is actually too bad that the "love story" is really not advertised in its trailers. Surprisingly, the two genres blend well, and that is probably because of the ability of the "buddies" who can turn their talent in any direction they want. Without the talent of the five very talented leads, the movie would most likely die a horrible death of stereotyped old people and predictability.
This is where the leads come in. They are played by five of the best actors to grace the silver screen and despite their age, they still can turn on the comedy, charm and emotional charge. This is what happens when you take screen legends Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Mary Steenburgen and turn them lose with a funny and cockles of the heart warming story. They know what it takes. Predictable? Yes. But actors with skill can look into that camera and turn from curmudgeon to loving best friend in a heartbeat. De Niro plays that role. Kline can still turn on the pirate charm or the off-beat comedic side-kick. Morgan Freeman is ... well, Morgan Freeman. He can play even the most subtle line to most outrageous moment with the same believable intensity. Meanwhile, Michael Douglas still plays the romantic lead, but this time with the idea that the romantic lead is past his prime. Mary Steenbergen as the "girl" or love interest plays the aging lawyer turned lounge singer is perfect. Who knew she can sing?
The plot is a simple one. Four lifelong friends of over sixty years gather in Las Vegas for the bachelor party of the one bachelor of the group Billy (Douglas) who is marrying a girl that is well over 30 years younger. The jokes abound from the friends about Billy marrying an infant. Two of the friends, of course, Billy and Paddy (De Niro) have had a falling out. No, I am not going to tell you what it was about. Archie (Freeman)who had a minor stroke has snuck out from his over-protective son's house, and Sam (Kline) has lost the sparkle, and his wife sends him on the trip telling him that he needs to get it back. When the friends arrive in Vegas, they meet Diana (Steenbergen) who is a lounge singer and "the girl."
It is a fun movie. Old friendships will be renewed. Love will be discovered. Youth will be recaptured, and a long hidden secret revealed. You will laugh and tear up a little bit. You will, in short, feel good when it ends, and all because a very predictable plot is put in the hands of actors that know how to use their talents.