Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Last Word: Monday, March 13 2017

The Last Word needed Shirley MacLaine, who plays the lead character Harriet Lauler, to give it some depth. Amanda Seyfried plays opposite MacLaine, as Anne, and gives a competent performance, as do all the others in the film.

Director Mark Pellington paced it too slow, although my friends didn't find it so. They felt the pace fitted in with the general atmosphere of the film. The music, by Nathan Matthew David, was not to my taste, but, no doubt, fitted the movie.

The storyline wasn't very original, but compared with so many of the films I've seen recently, wasn't too bad. It had the main characters both stuck in ruts in their lives. Harriet Lauler makes the first move to change, and comes into contact with Anne. They play off each other quite well, both growing in the process. In fact, Anne ends the film with a passionate speech about Harriet having taught her so much, and how she was going to change her life as a result. Very nice!

Thinking about the film a little further than I might have done if Shirley MacLaine hadn't been a producer and lead actor in the movie, it struck me that this was the last word from 82-year-old Shirley. She, as a representative of her generation, the Silent Generation (born before 1945), was giving a strong message to young women of the same generation as her co-star, Amanda Seyfried, the Millennials (1977-95).

The women of Shirley's generation had to fight for their position in the work world, and this may have made them abrasive, as it had Harriet. She was saying to Anne, don't take your life for granted, don't just drift through it. Set yourself goals, consider how to achieve them, and then go for it. Just do it, as Nike puts it! You have been given a good education; you can achieve what you want; appreciate this and put it to use to make a contribution to your world. Follow the example of the women before you who achieved so much. Don't disappoint them by not achieving more than they did. All good, motivational stuff, as is being taught by so many self-help gurus on the internet.

A sweet film. A pleasant way to pass a cold afternoon!

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