The Time of Their Lives

“You and I, we could have an adventure!”

All cinema should be an emotional rollercoaster; you sit yourself down and hope to be taken on the highs & lows of a journey. This film certainly is an emotional ride of sorts, but less rollercoaster and more helter skelter. It starts off well enough, with 15 minutes of inoffensive set-up; a 1960s Hollywood starlet whose star faded long ago (Joan Collins) recruits a shy & retiring woman trapped in an unhappy marriage (Pauline Collins) to help her get to her ex-lover’s funeral, with the hope of meeting old friends and making a career comeback. It’s not particularly original but it’s done reasonably well nevertheless. Things then start to go downhill as they ‘escape’ to France, then going on a road trip to the funeral that involves various odd/unusual/farcical encounters, before reaching the funeral and various situations occur. By the time the end credits (finally!) roll you end up feeling a bit nauseous that you wasted 104 minutes when there’s so much good stuff at the cinema right now.

The running time is far too long for starters. The concept – which could have been a nice one-off 60 minute drama or a 30 minute mini-series – gets far too drawn out and descends into painful levels of ridiculous stupidity. Yes, cinema should be about escapism and things that might not necessarily happen in our day-to-day lives. What it shouldn’t be is cliche-ridden, convoluted and lazily written episodic plot points which defy all logic and go nowhere. During the final half hour of the film, when things get really absurd, the audience goodwill has run out & any emotional payoff has been lost. The trailer presents the film as being a humorous and lighthearted road trip buddy movie.  Instead the film becomes preoccupied with poorly written sketches of pathos that add nothing and take away everything.

A real slog to watch with very little to redeem it.

2 stars

‘The Time of Their Lives’ opens in UK cinemas on 10th March.

        Year: 2017         Runtime:104 minutes       Dir: Roger Goldby

Starring: Joan Collins, Pauline Collins, Franco NeroRonald PickupSian Reeves.

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