Old friends are like an old jacket. It immediately feels comfortable. But what happens when life steers you in a different direction?
In the 2002 film, The Banger Sisters, Suzette (Goldie Hawn) and Lavinia (Susan Sarandon) were once best friends and wild child rock and roll groupies. But life, like it, often does, changes things. Suzette still lives the rock and roll lifestyle. But Lavinia is no longer the groupie that she once was. She has morphed into a traditional suburban wife and mother.
When Suzette realizes that she is without a job, without money and without anyone to help her, she goes to visit Lavinia. Can these two old friends re-connect and or has life gotten in the way?
This film is cute. It’s not horrible, but it’s not Oscar-worthy either. However, it is lovely to see a film about two female characters that have nothing to do with men and are of a certain age.
It’s amazing how life can throw us a curve ball that we may actually need.
In the 1987 movie, Overboard, Joana (Goldie Hawn) is a very spoiled woman. She hires Dean (Kurt Russell) to build a closet on her yacht. Not impressed with the final product, she sails away, leaving Dean unpaid for his work. After falling overboard, Joana is found by Dean. Not remembering who she is or what she did to Dean, she told that she is Dean’s wife Annie. It turns out that Dean is a widower and sees an opportunity for payback. Annie/Joana turns into the happy housewife, but how long will the charade last before her memory returns?
It’s always interesting to see IRL couples playing opposite each other in films that have some sort of romance. Not that it hurts the film, but to know that the screen kisses had a hint of reality adds a new layer to the experience of watching the film. As a romantic comedy, it’s not bad, but it’s not one of the greats either.
When change is needed in life, sometimes life throws us the curve ball needed to make the necessary change.
In the 1980 film, Private Benjamin, Judy Benjamin (Goldie Hawn) has lived a sheltered and spoiled life. Then her husband dies on their wedding night and Judy decides to join the army. The first wake up call is the intensity of Capt. Doreen Lewis (Eileen Brennan). The army is not what she expected it to be. But that is only the beginning of the shakeup of Judy’s life.
What I enjoy about this movie is the message of change and growth. Both are not easy and sometimes painful, but in the end, the outcome is worth the journey.
Actors try to stay away from being type cast in certain types of characters. Bette Midler has played many female character that are brash, bossy and outspoken. That is perfectly fine with me.
In The First Wives Club (1996), she was part of a trio of middle aged women that included Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton. They were best friends in college, but life, as it does, took them in different directions. Then a friend commits suicide when her husband left her for a younger woman. Brought together by the fact that all three of their husbands have dumped them for younger wives, they want one thing: revenge.
I am also including the video for the classic Lesley Gore song “You Don’t Own Me” because it is just so cool and is a perfect addition to this movie.
The story of the younger woman and the older man has been told time and again throughout history. But we rarely hear of the older woman who was with the man during their youth and has recently been shoved aside for a younger and prettier model. It is even rarer for that woman to become powerful in her own right and stand on her own two feet.
In Then She Found Me (2007) April Epner (Helen Hunt) is not having an easy life. Her husband (Matthew Broderick) has just left her as soon as she finds out that they are expecting. Her adopted mother Trudy (Lynn Cohen), is disappointed that April has not achieved more in life. Add in a flirtation with Frank (Colin Firth), who is the father of one of April’s students and Bernice (Bette Midler), the birth mother that suddenly returns to her life.
What I like about this movie that it feels real. The reality is that sometimes the floor falls down on us and everything comes down with the floor. April’s journey is inspiring and a case of art imitating life.