Get local news delivered straight to your phone

We can't make City Paper without you

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

This old-folks-get-frisky sitcom was originally called The Boynton Beach Bereavement Club, a title that probably horrified the marketing department but gives a better sense of the milieu. Director Susan Seidelman—who peaked with 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan—based the scenario on the Florida retirement-village experiences of her mother, Florence Seidelman, who co-produced the movie with her daughter. The story opens with an atypical cause of decrease in the local population: A happy retiree, mamboing through a subdivision wearing headphones, is run down by a careless neighbor. This makes Marilyn (Brenda Vaccaro) a widow, one ripe for recruitment by vivacious bereavement-club representative Lois (Dyan Cannon). Marilyn agrees to attend a meeting but finds most of the other attendees connected less by loss than by lust. Recent widower Jack (Len Cariou) is looking for companionship and is a little nervous about sex after 65. Not so for Lois and Harry (Joseph Bologna), who both locate younger potential lovers—although neither one is exactly as advertised. While Harry’s date vanishes quickly, Lois’ Donald (Michael Nouri) seems to be a keeper, even if he’s not the man he claims to be. Meanwhile, Jack takes up with Sandy (Sally Kellerman), who’s as unnaturally blonde, aerobicized, and unwrinkled as Lois. Seidelman, who wrote the script with Shelly Gitlow, pays tribute to her punk period by giving Jack a goth granddaughter, but the emphasis is on older singles and their sexual rebirth. If this is largely untraveled territory, that doesn’t mean the jokes are fresh: The scene in which a man is embarrassed by a pharmacist’s loud discussion of a Viagra-like drug simply retreads the familiar coming-of-age vignette in which a teenage boy tries to buy condoms. The two central couples squabble, but it’s no surprise when Lois and Sandy reconcile with their beaus in time for the prom—uh, New Year’s Dance. Unlike actual teenagers, these sexed-up golden girls aren’t off to college, and a new dating pool, next fall.

—Mark Jenkins