Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Wednesday Movie Night: Assisted Living (2003)
Summary: Todd is a janitor at an assisted living facility. He doesn't seem to aspire to much, and he is already struggling to keep his job there. He meets an elderly patient, Ms. Pearlman, who begins mistaking him for her son who has abandon her at the assisted living residence. She has hopes of going to Australia, which must be where her son lives. In order to comfort her, Todd pretends to be her son, but this leads to her confusion that he actually is. Todd though may learn something from Ms. Pearlman for the hope he has given her.
Acting: The lead character, Todd, portrayed by Michael Bonsignore just feels like he is trying to be too indie with his character. I didn't get this authentic vibe from how he was acting. He acts very strange as well, so he wasn't someone that was easy to relate to. Maggie Riley stars as Ms. Pearlman, and honestly enjoyed her performance a lot more. She felt real in her role, and the way she interacted felt real. Though Riley isn't a known actress she does show some skill in this movie. The rest of the cast is mixed with real actors and people who actually just live in the assisted living facility they filmed at.
Filming: The movie is very raw, but not so much so it feels unedited. They go for some cute music to play with the movie, but overall the vibe of the movie is anything but cute. The life portrayed in the assisted living facility is just bleak. I know that is more reality than say well The Exotic Marigold Hotel, but gosh gracious it surely makes you want to not grow old, which is inevitable unless dying younger is something you want to do.
Plot: The biggest problem is really the acting, or how the movie is even shot. It's the plot that is reaching for something deep that it goes nowhere. You can tell that Todd is trying to make a change by the end and he come to care for Ms. Pearlman, but we get no deeper context on what this is occurring yet. Plus the movie features a lot of scenes that mix in the residents listening to a pastor that drops in, and yet still we don't get the whole point of the spiritual context. Is it so Todd can mock it? Is it there to contribute to a deeper layer? It never seems so. The best parts are the interaction between Todd and Ms. Pearlman. It changes Todd in some way, but I never know how.
Maybe I'm just not reading into it deep enough, but I shouldn't have to read into your movie so deep for something the story isn't telling through it's characters. It hits some emotional moment's, but I never felt comedy, nor was I ever into Todd's character. The movie is very short though, at an hour and 18 minutes, but there was never plot to begin with.
Rating 4 of 10.