Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
YOUNG @ HEART MOVIE REVIEW
Directed by: Stephen Walker
Running time: 108 minutes
Release date: April 9, 2008
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Documentary
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Documentaries usually are not geared for mainstream audiences. However, the everyday movie-goer will find Young @ Heart to be the rare exception for the genre. This documentary offers an impressive mixture of thought provoking, hilarious, tear jerking and heart warming scenarios following a senior citizen chorus group from New England.
Young @ Heart is a poignant, sensitive and often funny film about two dozen gray power seniors who recycle their older age status and transform into a vibrant youthful array of musically talented singers. Their selections of music interpretations range from rock, punk and R&B. The film takes a look at the preparations the singers go through. Additionally, the film deals with the real life issues of illnesses that accompany old age. In some cases, death is the ultimate curtain call. The fact that these singers' ages range from early 70s to early 90s, and they tour worldwide is amazing and incredible.
I recall reading the book "Age Is Nothing: Attitude is Everything" by Peter Stein. In this book, experts talk about the importance of role models for young people (which in most cases is just a bunch of nonsense, because being young is usually easy.) What is really needed more is role models to show us how to grow old gracefully and how to stay young at heart indefinitely.
This is a wonderful film depicting the strength of a group of mature adults. The musical talents of these older people along with their unquestionable desire to withstand any and all obstacles to perform was remarkable. The rehearsal scenes with member Stan Goldman attempting to get "I Feel Good" by James Brown musically correct was hilarious. My favorite character was the late Eileen Hall (age 91) who was very energetic and spunky. She was the glamour for geriatrics.
The momentum of this documentary never stalled and at every turn there was a human interest story concerning one of the members. In all, this is a rare cinematic jewel of a movie and is guaranteed to excite every emotion in your body, no matter what age you are.
FILM RATING (A)