Between death and divorce, two women take a lucky moment to get away from their troubles. Only for the source of their relief to come after them.
Eva (Shirley MacLaine) and Maddie (Jessica Lange) are ladies of a certain age. However, even with them being at that age doesn’t mean they don’t like having some fun. Be it of the going out or of the more explicit nature. So when Eva’s husband dies and the life insurance company accidently sends her a five-million-dollar check, while hesitant at first, with time she decides to use the money while she has access to it. Thus leading to the company sending a gentleman named Alvin (Howard Hesseman) to track them down. But, he isn’t the only one who has taken an interest in these two ladies and that is when the real problems begin.
- Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange make for an excellent duo who not only play off each other well but bring this idea they have been friends for decades like their characters.
- It was great to see two very vibrant leads who were women of a certain age talking just as much about how much they enjoyed life and love sex as they worry about their mortality.
- Chandler (Billy Connolly) was an odd but likable Also, his place in the film brought an air of mystery since, to a point, you could never pin down why he took such a keen interest in Maddie and Eva.
- Alvin’s whole hunt for Eva makes no sense, as well as the ending we see when he retires.
- It is hard to pin down Crystal’s (Demi Moore) purpose in this movie. She isn’t funny, she doesn’t add anything to Eva’s character besides letting us know she had a kid, so you’re kind of left wondering what was the original intent with this character?
On The Fence
- The jokes dealing with how old everyone is, as well as how many people Eva has taught as a 10th-grade social studies teacher have inconsistent levels of funniness.
- The movie seems like it wants to be a dramedy focusing on the issues which these women are having getting older, yet it seems to brush off using the dramatic talents of its leads to keep things from ever getting too serious.
Overall: On The Fence (Home Viewing)
MacLaine and Lange make this into a light comedy with some sad elements, but it does feel like they skirt the bigger issues to make this into some fun comedy adventure film. Which there is nothing wrong with, for a lot of the jokes between Eva and Maddie are comical and Lange really shines in her role. However, things become shaky as Eva uses the money, shady characters come into her life, and then we watch as Alvin goes across the Atlantic to hunt her down. At that point, while you may find the film funny, you have to question what the hell is going on with the story?
Which I say because, Crystal’s purpose in the film is unknown, outside of being an annoyance, Alvin’s story from beginning to end requires a suspense of disbelief that breaks the movie’s hold on you, and pretty much everything on the Canary Islands hardly makes a bit of sense. And while Lange and MacLaine salvage what they can, it seems even with their combined experience, they couldn’t make this Lifetime movie seem like anything but.