Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Andy Tennant's silly -- but surprisingly enjoyable -- "senior" frolic, WILD OATS on DVD

How bad can a movie be that stars Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange and Billy Connolly? Not very, as it turns out. WILD OATS, written by Gary Kanew and Claudia Myers and directed by Andy Tennant, may be a foolish, feel-good fantasy about a couple of newly-single seniors who suddenly come into a fortune (incorrectly, as they realize from the outset), but it is acted with enough polish and filled with gorgeous locations and funny/silly/intriguing events that it bounces along handily from first scene to last.

Since it runs but 86 minutes, that first-to-last proves at the very least painless and at best quite chuckle-worthy. It is, as a friend of mine notes about certain movies, like taking a fun, fast and affordable vacation.

As directed by Mr. Tennant, shown at right, who has already given us a number of OK movies -- from Ever After and Anna and and the King to Sweet Home Alabama -- this one may be low on any kind of credibility but it's high enough on the goofy entertainment chart to pass muster.

If a movie like Silver Skies, which I covered earlier this week, can get a theatrical release, it seems surprising -- given its even starrier cast -- that this one could not. In any case, it's available beginning today, Tuesday, October 4, on DVD, Digital HD and VOD. If you're in a mood for light-n-airy entertainment, it'll do the trick.

MacLaine (two photos up) and Lange (above) play BFFs recently left by their men (the former's now a widow, while the latter's hubby has roamed to younger pastures). The women take their new fortune and head for the Canary Islands, where they meet Connolly (below, center), playing a charming senior who appears to be suffering from some form of dementia.

The ladies indulge themselves via this computer-glitch money, even as MacLaine's daughter (played by Demi Moore) and an insurance investigator (Howard Hesseman) fly to the Canaries to head them off. Spanish comedian Santiago Segura makes an appearance as a crooked wine connoisseur, while a cute young hunk who favors older women (Jay Hayden) heads for Ms Lange.

It's all by rote and by golly, but MacLaine's and Lange's polish and professionalism carry the day, while Mr Tennant's work, along with that of the screenwriters, is perfectly serviceable. This movie knows what it is, does not try for anything further, and so delivers its goods effectively. Before you can say, "Hey, it wasn't so bad!" it's all over, you've had your cheap vacation, and you're off to bed. Or maybe for that final nightcap.

From The Weinstein Company (and unceremoniously dumped into a single New York theater last month, with no press screening and consequently no reviews) and released to DVD via Anchor Bay Entertainment, Wild Oats is available now on home video via DVD, digital HD and VOD.

No comments: