Remember the show Golden Girls? Remember how it gave us a funny, but very heartfelt window into the lives of the elderly? Remember how it made you want to spend time with your grandparents and actually listen to their long stories about their old days? If you can, then good news… Last Vegas is just for you.
If Golden Girls is too far gone to remember, then maybe 2011’s Bridesmaids may be a more fitting comparison. Many will try to compare it to The Hangover, but believe me, if you go in making that sort of comparison, you will be sorely disappointed. It lacks the outrageous spontaneity to be compared to that comedy. The film does, however, follow four childhood best friends now in their late-60s: Billy (Michael Douglas) whose wedding to a woman barely into her 30s is the reason for the group’s Vegas romp. Archie (Morgan Freeman), a borderline alcoholic with a heart condition who escapes from his overprotective son (Michael Ealy) to finally have some fun. Sam (Kevin Kline), who looks to Vegas as an opportunity to escape his droll marriage. And Paddy (Robert DeNiro), a grumpy widower who still has a personal grudge with Billy.
There is a tad bit of drama in the film, mainly caused by the sudden love triangle between DeNiro, Douglas, and a Vegas songstress (Mary Steenburgen). Unfortunately, none of it ever seems to feel that interesting. There are also a lot of cartoony antics and cameos (50 cent for some reason) that detract from the more realistic humorous moments. But, as with any comedy, making the audience laugh can help to overlook some problems. And this film is full of laughs. Like Golden Girls, it embraces the idea of getting old and uses the chemistry between its cast to make you wish they were your old friends too.
The film may not be too memorable from a story standpoint, but the characters are lovable enough. Morgan Freeman, in particular, steals the show. Sometimes it’s ok to just sit back and enjoy watching old people have fun, even if none of their problems resonate with anyone under the age of 50.
FINAL GRADE: B
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