Elder Movies
Announcing: The TGB ElderMovie List

Elder Movies II

Over the weekend, I have been preparing a ElderMovie list based on the many good suggestions readers have left on Friday’s post. A major point of the collection is to list only films that add to our understanding of or celebrate what getting older is like, and not those that demean elders or promote negative stereotypes.

There are three suggestions I need help on.

Of the pair, Grumpy Old Men and its sequel, Grumpier Old Men, I have seen only the first and have little memory of it except that I didn’t think it was the best work Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau ever did. But I can’t remember if I took issue with how the two old men were portrayed or if it just didn’t suit my taste.

The other, Shadowlands, a biography of C.S. Lewis starring Anthony Hopkins, is another I haven’t seen, nor have I read the book. My question is: does it qualify as an ElderMovie or is it more about Lewis at midlife?

Please leave your thoughts below. I will defer to the majority on all three films.


I do not consider "Shadowlands" as simply a movie about C.S. Lewis at midlife. It was a beautiful film about Lewis, a confirmed bachelor, finding love late in his life in an unexpected way.

Sorry to be late with this.
I liked "Grumpy Old Men." I think the sequel was done for the paycheck... but I thought the first was a very funny movie with... some nice moments... about elders living active if not always full lives.
I've been thinking about "My Fellow Americans," Jack Lemmon and James Garner as former Presidents working against a corrupt Administration. It's probably not about what it's like getting older though.

I agree with AlwaysQuestion. I saw "My Fellow Americans" when it came out ten years ago. Not exactly a blockbuster, but entertaining and funny. My then 15 year old liked it too.

Those were my exact thoughts regarding the first Grumpy Old Men. The sequels I loved because of the actors and perhaps not so much due to content. Anything that can make me laugh is worth seeing for me and the sequels had me laughing as well.
We were actually asked to write regarding movies that had content regarding elders or that had elders in them so I did so.
I realize that I am new here, never actually posted on any blog before. I have been reading though for some time now and rather enjoying it.
Perhaps I am not really ripe in age yet since I am 10 years younger than Ronnie is, but I am starting to ripen and am rather enjoying the process.

Have you seen Joan Plowright in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont? A weepty story, but the star is an old woman who is finacially secure but lonely and neglected by her family. The film treats her respectfully. Elaine

I am biased about the Grumpy Old Men series . I love Minnesota. Did enjoy the silly egos of these two guys, though ordinarily I am not tolerant of that feature. I like Boston Legal on TV because they use older actors.

I thought both Grumpy Old Men
I & II were pretty dang funny &, no they weren't any of the actors best, but they sure looked as if they were having a ball! And yeah, there was a lesson in them for me: getting old doesn't mean you can't act like a kid! (and if you see the VHS tape -- the outtakes at the end were hysterical)
I loved Shadowlands but, like you, can't decide if it's an elder movie.
Frankly, I think most of the later Sean Connery films tend to show an elder worthy of respect, e.g., The Rock or Rising Sun.

And, thank you, Ronni, for the list!!!!

GOM is about so much more than getting old. It's about friends, depression, loss. Hey, wait a minute, maybe it is about just getting old.

Burgess Meredith as Jack Lemmon's 80 or 90 year old dad is a gem. Ann-Margret's Ariel is one we all dream about whether we're 30 or 70.

I enjoyed both at a time when I was desperate for a chortle, let alone a laugh.
Thanks so much for the list.
Thanks for your blog!

OOps, I'm a bit new at this, so part two....
Shadowlands is an historical romance.Keep the tissues handy.

Pauline & Paulette

The relationships among four aging sisters, one of whom is mentally handicapped, are portrayed in this tender drama. Dora van der Groen and Ann Petersen give wonderful performances as the sisters with the closest, though largely unspoken, bond. "...a subtle, poignant picture of goodness that is flawed, compromised and sad...Rather than assaulting you with self-congratulatory tears, it leaves you with a bittersweet glow of wisdom and an appreciation of the small triumphs and difficult labors of love" (A.O. Scott, New York Times). In Flemish and French with English subtitles. Belgium/France/Netherlands, 2001, 78 mins

grumpy old men was fantastic,i adore jack and walter in everything they did.i just found a copy of the apartment which is my favorite.also hanging up with meg ryan and walter ,he put his best foot foward right to the end and thats how i want to go
laughing baby,laughing all the way!
both grumpy movies are a real take on what goes on in your head

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