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The Time of Their Lives

In recent years there have been more films aimed towards mature audiences. No one wants to say the words ‘elderly’ or ‘old’, but several have catered for older viewers wanting something without CGI or an endless stream of sex and violence. Movies, including ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and others, have explored the ageing process in an engaging manner with fine performances. ‘The Time of Their Lives’ follows the same template. Starring evergreen ladies Joan and Pauline Collins, it’s a fine journey firmly establishing that age is always just a number.

When her ex-husband dies, former Hollywood movie star Helen (Joan Collins) travels to France for the funeral. Not wanting to make the journey alone, she asks new friend Priscilla (Pauline Collins) to join her. Jumping in the car and hitting the road, the duo quickly become embroiled in mischief and mayhem. Meeting men like Alberto (Franco Nero), Helen and Priscilla navigate the personal upheavals such encounters bring making them focus on the meaning of friendship.

‘The Time of Their Lives’ has much in common with the stage play/movie ‘Shirley Valentine’. Both feature ladies searching for more in life and trying to sort out the baggage of past relationships. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that both featured the talents of Pauline Collins. She’s always had a special talent for conveying the yearning for new pastures without her characters feeling desperate. She is accompanied with style in Joan Collins’ troubled character, with the famous ‘Dynasty’ diva putting in a strong performance.

Whilst it provides an engaging journey and a smattering of genuine laughs, ‘The Time of Their Lives’ feels familiar. Think an old-time version of ‘Thelma and Louise’ and you wouldn’t be far off. The plot occasionally creaks under its own dated antiquity, but its premise of facing the past and forging new horizons no matter what age is engagingly handled. The French scenery is gorgeous to look at as always with Roger Goldby’s smooth direction making the most out of a clichéd story.

It’s pleasurable seeing older actors strut their stuff. They know how to project their roles well with ‘The Time of Their Lives’ benefitting from their experience. Ageing gracefully is something we could all learn although having fun while doing so like the film’s characters is a lesson we should never forget.

Rating out of 10: 7

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