2006-09-01 / Columnists


'Boynton Beach Club' - Sex And The Seniors
By Robert Snyder

Filmmaker Susan Seidelman has taken a cue from her own youth comedies ("Desperately Seeking Susan," "Smithereens") and made one with a slight variation, the sexually-active players of "Boynton Beach Club" are senior citizens.

Assembling a cast of topnotch talent (Len Cariou, Sally Kellerman, Joe Bologna, Dyan Cannon, Renee Taylor, Brenda Vaccaro), Seidelman has collaborated with her co-producer mother, Florence, who told her back-to-dating stories from a bereavement class. In fact, South Florida's Boynton Beach Club is a bereavement class.

However, "Club" spends little time dwelling on the mournful. The focus is on page-turning to new life in the senior singles scene. Jack (Cariou) has just lost his wife of 45 years and is not ready to see anyone sexually. However, Sandy (Kellerman) uses velvet gloves to ease him into more than a lightweight relationship. Meanwhile, Harry (Bologna) searches the Internet for a sex partner, where he finds a woman too beautiful to be believed. He soon discovers there's a catch to this catch. Marilyn (Vaccaro) is recovering from a fatal accident involving her husband and cell-phone-yakking neighbor (Taylor), who backs her car over him. Club member Lois (Cannon) takes her under her wing, then builds her confidence to pass a road test and buy a car. Lois herself begins dating a younger, fifty-something man, Donald (Michael Nouri), who wants to keep the past a mystery. What could have been tragic is laced with a lot of humor and fun interaction between the always entertaining actors. Vaccaro, in particular, is a revelation and worthy of Oscar consideration. Seidelman's movie embraces the Golden Years and should make young audience members almost look forward to them. "Boynton Beach Club" is a refreshing film about the "up" side of aging. It would make a wonderful TV series, filling in the gap left by "The Golden Girls"... and, yes, "Sex and the City."

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