ELSA & FRED -- from the original and internationally popular geriatric-rom-com of the same name from Argentina and Spain (made way back in 2005 but not receiving a theatrical release in the USA until 2008) -- should do the trick. If you were lucky enough to see the original film, which starred two aged and much-loved performers from, respectively, South America and Spain -- China Zorrilla and Manuel Alexandre -- you'll immediately understand why the casting of Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer is both appropriate (these are two of our biggest, English-speaking, geriatric stars, after all) and much less interesting. MacLaine and Plummer look about as fit as possible -- svelte and attractive, given their age -- and absolutely made for each other. So what's the problem? The problem is: There ain't one.
original film (you can read my review of it for Greencine here), Zorrilla and Alexandre were, physically and emotionally, like oil and water: he a quiet, closed-off and aged runt, she a zaftig hurricane of a woman with enough vitality to blow anyone off the screen. How the two become close is fraught with problems that take the entire film to work out, and by its close, the movie leaves you in tears even while you're chuckling. In this remake, as good and glossy as it is -- the generally smart screenplay is by director Michael Radford (shown at left) and Anna Pavignano (who co-wrote the wonderful Casomai) -- the coupling seems a fait accompli from the outset. And while it is indeed amusing to watch these two old pros deliver their lines and have some fun doing it, all the quirkiness, the sadness and only-barely-hidden despair brought to the original by its two stars goes missing.
Marcia Gay Harden to Chris Noth, Scott Bakula to George Segal and James Brolin -- plus a nice little sub-plot concerning Fred's caretaker (played by Erika Alexander) and the building's superintendent (Wendell Pierce).
Netflix or Amazon -- is more of a keeper.