Bill Milner, Michael Caine, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey
Old Lady: Of course, she’s not a girl now, little man. She’s 66 years old.
Edward: I’m 11!
Old Lady: Well, she’s 6 times better than you are, isn’t she?
A young boy, Edward (Milner), is sick of living in the old folks home that his parents run. Though, the location does allow him to indulge in his ghost-hunting hobby. When a new resident, Clarence (Caine), arrives, he and Edward form a friendship that could be beneficial to both of them.
If I may steal a phrase often used by somebody I know: Of all the movies I’ve ever seen…that was one of them. That’s pretty much how I’ll remember this one, if I do remember it at all. It seems like it has all the makings of a touching drama, but it just never comes together in any real substantial way.
Michael Caine is quite good as Clarence, a reluctant resident at the home who seems to be showing signs of senility. In fact, the acting is good all around. There’s just not much interesting or original on display. It just sort of flatly goes through the usual plot developments, hoping that a weepy back story will rescue the film.
I did like the stuff about Edward wondering what happens when people die, but his character was generally too annoying for me to really develop much sympathy for. I think Edward’s mom, played by Anne-Marie Duff, was my favorite character. She believes strongly in helping people at the end of their lives, but has to deal with her husband and Edward both feeling a little neglected by her lack of attention to them. It’s a really nice performance that, I think, brings the movie up a level.
So yeah, if you’re looking for a somewhat funny drama that will maybe draw a tear or two as well, this one might do if there isn’t much else available. At the very least, you can see some good performances. Oh, and you get to see somebody have their finger cut off too.
Senility and magic don’t mix.
10 – 2.2 for a dull, predictable story – 1 for a somewhat annoying lead character + .4 for some especially good performances – 1 for lackluster direction = 6.2