Old men, take a look at their lives
March 4, 2005 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I saw Assisted Living and asked, what if it was my grandmother on screen? It's funny, but troubling. Old people think they are talking to heaven on the telephone, and then there's the monkey scene. The director says, "if I made a porn movie and inserted images from the Alzheimer's ward into the film, it would be morally terrible." Some critics liked it, some didn't. Maybe bodily decrepitude isn't wisdom.
posted by oldleada (10 comments total)
I won't know much about this movie until I see it, but it seems an awful lot like the brilliant zine Duplex Planet.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:24 PM on March 4, 2005

"How can you sleep when Assisted Living Dracula is on? Now I know it seems a little slow, but when you get into it, I mean when you see it from the beginning..."
posted by stifford at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2005

i think, in general, that the way we view & treat the elderly in our society is shameful. that said, i think comedy is just a valid vehicle as any to raise awareness about gerontological issues....
posted by gnutron at 3:22 PM on March 4, 2005

..yes, Grandpa's farts are evil...
posted by alteredcarbon at 5:07 PM on March 4, 2005

I dunno, seeing some of the clips in this movie, it seems it demystifies alzheimers and gives a face to these people. My grandmother had alzheimers, and to her death she was capable of vibrant emotions, despite her complete inability to communicate. Our society is very gentrophobic, and perhaps movies such as these can help encourage the warmth and respect that they deserve.
posted by Kifer85 at 8:25 PM on March 4, 2005

My grandmother had Alzheimers too, and she was placed in an Alzheimer's home. She got a lot of personal care and attention there. I think it was really good for her.

That said, there really is nothing more funny than two people with Alzheimer's starting up a conversation. It's partly the fact that this other person is having to answer the questions that you answer every two minutes while you are visiting ("Do you live near here?", etc). It's also entertaining (and sad) to hear the stories they make up or dredge up from earlier in their lives.

I really don't know if I could take an entire movie poking fun at a disease. In the moments I had, it was kind of an instance of laughing through the sadness, I think. How many people will come out of the movie saying "Old people are funny" and how many will say
posted by graventy at 9:00 PM on March 4, 2005

..."We need to do something about this."

Although, judging from the trailer, it's seems to be a simple light-hearted comedy that will have very little to do with the actual Alzehimer's patients and more to do with Todd, nurse guy.

posted by graventy at 9:26 PM on March 4, 2005

I saw Assisted Living at slamdance last year. I found this movie to be very engaging, and very well done. The message I came away with had to do with being in the moment, having a commitment to the moment, and that is what made the nurse real to his patients.
posted by Oyéah at 11:10 PM on March 4, 2005

The NY Times article is, as always, brilliant and insightful.
posted by NickDouglas at 1:19 PM on March 5, 2005

"I would love it if you met my son, Maurice."
"Mother, I *AM* Maurice."
posted by fourstar at 8:20 PM on March 5, 2005

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