First Hit: Thoughtful and very well acted film about loss and growing older.
Carol (Blythe Danner) is alone, her husband died twenty years earlier.
She has a dog that dies early in the film which adds to the sorrow Carol carries. Her mood has a heaviness to it that is palpable. Her friends Georgina (June Squibb), Sally (Rhea Perlman), and Rona (Mary Kay Place) play bridge regularly. Sally and her play golf at a golf club and her life seems set, unexciting, and, at times, meaningless.
Her pool guy Lloyd (Martin Star) is a lost young man who has no direction, little purpose except to clean the pool he’s cleaning at that time. He’s philosophical with his predicament and shares his belief with Carol. Given his place and her place, it creates a bond of understanding and friendship.
When he sings the song he's written to Carol, the mood is so sweet, beautiful and heartfelt. It adds to his beauty as an understanding person. Carol tries speed dating, which has its own funny moments, but when she finds herself attracted to and giddy about Bill (Sam Elliot), the life in her begins to show. How she expresses it with her visiting daughter Katherine (Malin Akerman) was very touching and real.
Danner is exquisite. She really embodied the dullness and sadness of her life and the rise of hope when Bill arrives into her life. Squibb, Perlman, and Place are perfect as friends having strong personalities that support and care about Carol. Star is amazing as the guy who sings off key, is lost in life, cleans pools and finds a friend in Carol. Akerman is very good as the daughter that knows her mom well enough to draw her out and support her next steps. Elliot is strong as the self-assured older man who has a hankering for Carol. Marc Basch and Brett Haley wrote a strong and insightful script. Haley did an excellent job of directing this cast as well as making the script feel full of heart.
Overall: This was an amazing performance by Danner and the entire cast.