Saturday, October 28, 2017

BOOK VS MOVIE: The Leisure Seeker

Growing old is very seldom something one looks forward to. (As Roger Daltrey sang, "I hope I die before I get old.") The sense of independence starts to tapers off as their mental and physical facilities begin to falter. (Think of it as the aging process in reverse.)

Some try to make the most of what little time they have left by doing what they haven't had the chance to do before, more often than not due to family and/or financial matters. (Many times it can be something daring like bungee jumping or traveling.) It's once they've the means that they pursue them.

Michael Zadoorian's The Leisure Seeker follows such a story. With both of them feeling the effects of their age (he with Alzheimer's, she with cancer), John and Ella Robina go on a road trip in their titular RV for perhaps one last vacation. But what will stop them first: their concerned children, their shared deteriorating health or Ella's lack of patience?

Paolo Virzi's adaptation alters a number of the details from Zadoorian's novel but still maintains the general gist of the story. In the lead roles are Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren, both of whom have a charming chemistry together. However, it doesn't have that particular appeal the book had.

So which is better: Zadoorian's novel or Virzi's film? Both capture how the rebellious spirit has no age limit but Virzi makes the scenario more comedic in spots (though not always for the better). Either way, it's nice to have senior citizens depicted as more than doting grandparents. (It's a tiring thing to see after a while.)

What's worth checking out?: The book.

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