This amiable senior drama could have used some teeth.
By Jorge Ignacio Castillo
THE PLOT: Katherine (Linda Thorson, The Avengers’ Tara King!) is a vivacious, music-loving septuagenarian who -following an accident at the opera- lands at a seniors’ home. Despite assurances from her daughter that it’s a temporary arrangement, Katherine couldn’t possibly be unhappier.
Things begin to look up when she meets Isaac (Stuart Margolin, The Rockford Files), a retired tailor whose incipient arthritis doesn’t prevent him from doing patch jobs for his housemates. After a rocky start, Katherine and Isaac tentatively embark in a romantic relationship, but at their age, the stakes are higher and the challenges, numerous.
CRITIQUE: A low-key drama with one too many troupes, The Second Time Around caters to a very specific niche, the one that flocks the 5th Avenue Cineplex in Vancouver and the Varsity in Toronto. The straightforward narrative has a clear drive (seniors being the driving agents of their own lives), and if you don’t mind predictability, it may satisfy. The one thing the film doesn’t deliver is fresh insight.
Linda Thorson and especially Stuart Margolin succeed at making the often stilted dialogue tolerable. It’s the younger cast members who are not as successful at making the script their own.
* Not only Stuart Margolin is the movie’s MVP. He gets to sing a couple of songs in Yiddish worth your attention.
* There is some chemistry between Margolin and Linda Thorson. The courtship features some charming, quiet moments, all too infrequent in modern cinema.
* The movie looks favorably at indulging and enabling our elders, a rather unexpected message for a film of this nature.
* The cinematography is very dull. The production design is particularly unimaginative.
* Most of the comedy falls flat and, when it doesn’t, it’s too gentle to register.
* You wouldn’t believe the number of 360-degree dolly shots this movie has.
RATING (CANADIAN CURVE): **1/2
The Second Time Around is now playing in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.