When a curmudgeon meets a terminally ill pathological liar, a romance for the ages ensues. That’s the story of Elsa and Fred. It’s a fun story and age does not dull the chemistry between Shirley MacLaine’s Elsa and Christopher Plummer’s Fred. Their quirky love story is cute and endearing and the supporting cast also feels real and authentic. Directed by Michael Radford, who also wrote the project with Anna Pagavino, “Elsa & Fred” is executed well.
After entering Fred’s world Elsa begins helping him find love again after losing his wife. Elsa’s imagination runs wild and she is full of energy and excitement. Part of this wild imagination is a dream she has held on to for half a decade, to relive the scene in “La Dolce Vita” at the Fontana di Trevi as created by Fellini. With Elsa taking the part of Anita Ekberg.
So how does “Elsa & Fred” compare to the Fellini classic… well that is a bit much. Lets just take a look at how it rates as a movie shall we….
CINEMATOGRAPHY – 4
“Elsa & Fred” is an “indy” film but by todays standards that means an estimated $10 million dollar budget. Obviously for a film with that type of budget the production team is going to create great visuals for a story like this. They come through. The story is shot well and the locations are great. Nothing feels out of place but there is also nothing ground breaking. The final scene is crafted quite well and stacks up nicely with the film it mimics.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE – 3
As a romantic comedy “Elsa & Fred” is entertaining. The chemistry is there between MacLaine and Plummer. Their interplay is cute. If you are looking for something to take a date to (or watch on Netflix or Redbox) this would be a good choice. The family dynamic for the two characters is somewhat basic but I love Marcia Gay Harden in most everything she does and this is no exception. Seeing MacLaine and Plummer acting mischievous is delightful and fun. It is an interesting take on love especially as we grow older. Most would think once you reach a certain age you should be put out to pasture. These two put those notions to rest with their love affair. While not a revolutionary RomCom it was a fun ride and I am glad I took it.
RE-WATCH-ABILITY – 2
As RomComs go this wasn’t groundbreaking although ageism is challenged and I do commend the film for that. With that sad I might watch it again if I was with my queen and we had exhausted our Netflix binge queue.
(My Re-watch –ability chart)
1=Never watching again
2=Would probably sit through if it popped up on HBO or FX
3=Would DVR it and watch again or recommend to watch with a friend
4=wouldn’t mind killing time to see it in the theater again. In fact I would like to do that
5=I am going to see this in the theater again, maybe twice more as well as stop what I am doing and watch every time it is on TV.)
Elsa & Fred is a standard RomCom that performs its function well. It challenges some ageist ideas and has some humorous moments. I enjoyed it and would sit through it again on occasion. Give it a shot if you are looking for a nice stay at home movie on a rainy night.