Thursday, August 16, 2012

Old Goats Review

“Old Goats” is essentially a man comedy, but the men are seniors. Taylor Guterson’s film features three different old timers, all at various stages of their lives and facing various obstacles. There’s David who’s the most recent of the trio to retire and he struggles to adapt to that life, while also living with his overbearing wife. Then there’s Bob, a guy who has supposedly done a lot in his life, being a Paratrooper, going on various adventures and such.  He’s writing a memoir about it. And finally there’s Britton, who’s lived alone on a boat for most of his life. After chickening out on taking a boating trip (he’s never been anywhere before) he tries to find some kind of excitement. He buys a computer and cell phone for the first time and signs up for an online dating sight for old folks.

That’s it. There’s not much more to recap than that. The movie is basically just the three of them intermingling with one another in their day-to-day lives. Once a week they, and other seniors, meet at a local coffee shop at 8pm (you know those old goats, they like to go to bed early) and just talk about the week’s happenings and life in general. It’s a rather uneventful movie. It was shot locally, in Bainbridge Island, and it stays confined to that gloomy small town environment. The film can be amusing at times, especially watching the three men interact with one another.  They aren’t professional actors, so they’re basically playing themselves (they have the same names in real life) within a fictional framework. It’s refreshing to see a comedy about old people once and while.

The script is by Guterson but you can tell that he let the guys adlib during most scenes, which sometimes feels authentic but then sometimes they tend to go on longer than necessary. All in all, “Old Goats” is a nice little movie but it feels toned down and maybe too confined. The story is simplistic and the camerawork is crude and mumblecore-ish, so I wish the screenplay had more bite to it. The movie is about cantankerous old men. I wanted more cantankerousness. An “F” bomb is dropped now and again but there needed to be more. Guterson makes a somewhat worthy directorial debut with “Old Goats” but it’s also fairly miniscule and forgettable.


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