Monday, September 26, 2005

Assisted Living

Pooteewheet and I watched Assisted Living the other night. Netflix summarizes:
Exclusively at Netflix: Bored nursing-home janitor Todd (Michael Bonsignore) slogs through his job, breaking the monotony by toking up and toying with the residents. But Todd's shenanigans with feisty Alzheimer's patient Mrs. Pearlman (Maggie Riley) unexpectedly lead to a growing friendship as she begins to mistake him for the son who's forgotten her. Along the way, Todd rediscovers his humanity in director Elliot Greenebaum's unique docudrama.

Honestly, it was just very strange. The writer felt no need whatsoever to make the movie move at any pace that might keep your attention up, but in some ways, a movie that takes place in an old folks' home, where most of the actors aren't actually actors, but real old folks in the home interspersed with actors, should be expected to exhibit a pace that makes you feel like you're in a nursing home. While it seemed ponderous during the watching, in retrospect it was really a rather good movie (though I expect Pooteewheet to disagree with me) because I'm still thinking about it a few days later and realizing there were some exceptional moments in it and that it exactly set out to do what it was trying to do.

As an aside, there was this one scene that really made me laugh that might not be as funny to others. An old man comes inside the home and keeps repeating to the janitor that there's a dead animal outside, there's a dead animal outside, there's a dead animal outside. Todd (the janitor) finally goes out to see what the ruckus is about, and there's a motorized old guy scooter tipped over in the grass on the side of the road and a mashed squirrel lying there. The old guy is just standing over it with an idiotic look on his face somewhere between happiness that he may have been the one to run over the squirrel and excitement that he found a dead squirrel and it's a big event in his day. After watching my co-worker Erik run over a squirrel during the St. Paul Bike Classic three years ago, this is now how I picture him as an 87-year old nursing home resident, fondly remembering his glory days.

Simple syndicated rating system (SSRS)? 8.25 out of 10. The .25 is for the dead squirrel.

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