Love's not Just for Christmas
Robert Malone (Martin Landau) seems like a lonely old man, living by himself in a home big enough for a family, each day's a routine as he goes to the supermarket where he works. There he gets on well with the manager Mike (Adam Scott) who seems to actually care deeply for the elderly Robert even asking his opinion on a Christmas promotion idea he has. On returning home one day Robert is started to discover a woman in his home who turns out to be Mary (Ellen Burstyn) who along with her daughter Alex (Elizabeth Banks) live across the street. When Mary asks Robert out on a date he seems as giddy as a young man but also unsure asking Mike for advice when it comes to women as he doesn't have much experience. But whilst Mary is keen to go out with Robert her daughter fears she will be hurt again.
So "Lovely, Still", which when I watched was billed as "Lovely, Still at Christmas", appears like this gentle tale of two old people who find love late on in life and in the lead up to Christmas. With Robert appearing to be inexperienced there is something sweetly charming as he isn't overly confident on how to act around Mary who appears to be much more experienced. And it is all incredibly charming with some great Christmassy scenes from houses beautifully lit up to the use of some great classic Christmas songs. But you kind of wonder where all this is going which is where I have to say please go and watch this movie for yourself, go, don't read anymore of this review because I am going to give away a major spoiler and tell you where "Lovely, Still" goes.
So as you watch "Lovely, Still" you think to yourself that some things don't seem quite right. There is a scene where Mike calls Robert in to his office and seems eager for Robert's approval and then there are some dream like sequences where we get to see an alternate version of Robert's life. And the reason why things don't quite seem to add up come not long before the end as we discover that Robert Malone not only has Alzheimer's but Mary is in fact his wife, Alex is his daughter and Mike is his son with the sad truth being that Robert no longer recognizes them as his family but they all remain nearby to be near him and keep an eye out for him. There is more to the movie than just this as Mary has her own health issues to contend with but it certainly turns this movie on its head not once but in fact twice.
What is very clear is that whilst "Lovely, Still" features Adam Scott and Elizabeth Banks this movie works because of Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn who warm are hearts with their characters. When it comes to Ellen Burstyn as Mary you can really sense that she has a gentle nature and real love for Robert but also youthfulness as if she was young and falling in love for the first time. And then there is Landau who not only brings the giddiness of a man falling in love like he was a young boy but also brings enough forgetfulness to make you feel for him in a different way, not sympathy but another layer of compassion.
What this all boils down to is that "Lovely, Still" is a lovely surprise of a movie with this sensitive but fascinating drama which genuinely touches your hearts in a way you won't be expecting when you first start watching.
Tags: Christmas Movies