Monday, July 07, 2014

Documentary Review: Pretty Old

Currently available for streaming
on Amazon Prime as of 7/7/14
 Pretty Old is another competition documentary. This time we get to see into the world of the Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant that takes place in Fall River, Massachusetts every year. If you are over the age of 58 and alive, you qualify!

The film follows a select group of senior citizens who are not ready to spend the rest of their days in the day room at the nursing home just yet. They come to compete in a friendly competition to see who's still got it.

These ladies are frisky, funny, and for the most part full of life. Watching them have a blast is just fun for the viewer. They all compare titanium hips and bionic knees. One lady has no problem telling you that she has had work done on her face. And they all seem to have smiles on their faces from start to finish.

The organizer of the pageant is a man by the name of Len Kaplan who is 78 years old and is the life of the party. During the actual pageant he sings, dances, and plays the kazoo, frontwards AND backwards. He is the man who started the show 39 years ago. He's a lovable man who brings a lot of humor to the film.

The most touching part of the film is a woman named Frances Christian. She's an attractive widow whose husband died of cancer after 34 years of marriage. She reveals in the documentary that she has cancer herself and that it has gotten progressive. She still manages to dance several days a week as a tap dance instructor. Her journey to and from the pageant is emotional and inspiring.

This movie was a fun, and entertaining film. It has character and is compelling enough to keep the audience's attention from beginning to end. Not a lot of emphasis is placed on being invested in the competition. So we don't have a lot of empathy for who may or may not win the actual pageant. But that's okay because the story here is in the message. That message is that getting older doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to staring at a wall at a nursing home. The individual stories are full of emotion and laughs. They may have to do a big dance routine sitting down, but they can still entertain with their attitude and spunk. 

I give this documentary... 3 stars

Yeah, I'm switching to stars.

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