Everything was coming up gold for me when watching “Silver Skies,” a movie about a bunch of seniors getting evicted from their apartment complex community, but then the movie took a dark turn that seemed better for shock value than to finish up the film. Suddenly we were down to bronze.
Let’s get to the story…
George Hamilton is Phil. He thinks he is Dean Martin, which is funny at times, until you keep remembering he thinks he is Dean Martin because he has Alzheimers. Jack McGee is Nick. He lives with Phil, is the best friend, and is doing everything he can to prolong Phil’s time in society instead of going to an institution.
The problem for our heroes, and the rest of elders? It seems their apartment complex is going condo as the owner, who is also the uncle of the manager of the complex, is getting rid of the place, and now Phil, Nick, and the rest of the group of seniors have 30 days to come up with around half a million bucks each to keep their units.
As things go we are introduced to all of the cast of characters with Harriet (Mariette Hartley) as the recent widow, probably loaded, and figuring out what to do with her money. We also have Ethel (Valerie Perrine) as the aging actress wannabe, Billy (Howard Hesseman) as the loaded guy who doesn’t live at the complex but Ethel wants to move in with, and Frank (Alex Rocco) who has the hots for Ethel, yet Ethel fails to see Frank is probably a good dude for her to be with.
We’ve also got Miguel (Phillip Andre Botello) as the maintenance man who knows all of the idiosyncrasies of the older folks and helps them through their daily lives, and then, of course, there is Kevin (Micah Hauptman). He’s the pervert nephew of the owner who watches porn most of the day.
It’s a wonderful cast, and the story plays along nicely as all of the seniors work to come to terms with being evicted, or trying to figure out how to stay in the complex. There are the arguments between the couples, there are the “rallying the community to fight” moments, and there are the depression moments as reality starts to set in. Simply put it’s a realistic look at life for these seniors, and the challenges they face in their lives, albeit with some great humor like this one from Phil, “I went to bed last night and I was twenty years old. I woke up this morning and my balls were in my shoes.”
The month is progressing, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel for the seniors, but then the movie takes this incredibly dark, for no better way to put it, sexual assault turn, which seemed like a completely unnecessary and “shock value” scene to quickly get the movie to the eventual ending. I mean, as well as this movie was doing at portraying the seniors in a real-life scenario, and I’m not saying something like the assault never happens anywhere, I really would have liked it better if Harriet’s plan to save the seniors was built on maybe her finding that she was more business savvy than even she knew she was, rather than “You’re going to be sued if you don’t sell the complex to me.” Sorry for the spoiler, but if you didn’t figure that one out, and the eventual ending, you really weren’t paying attention.
The movie was riding high for me, with witty writing mixed and a real-world scenario for the seniors. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing the older actors showing they still have the talent they had in their younger years, and who also doesn’t love Dick Van Patten making an “Eight is Enough” joke? Then, unfortunately, the film folks took away from the realism with “let’s shock everyone with this scene.” Too bad.
With a fun time getting lost in “trying to be shocking,” it’s a 3 1/2 stars for “Silver Skies.” I just wished the ending could have been smarter.
That’s it for this one! L8R!!