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5 Flights Up

2015-06-26 11:19

What it's about:

In this comedy drama that is set over the course of one crazy weekend, long-time married couple Ruth (Diane Keaton) and Alex (Morgan Freeman) discover that selling their Brooklyn apartment isn't about winding down, but starting a new adventure. The film co-stars Carrie Preston, Claire van der Boom and Korey Jackson.

What we thought:

A movie starring Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton can do no wrong. Right?!

In the adult dramedy the pair play an elderly married couple. Alex is an artist and Ruth Carver, a retired teacher. Through his narration we learn that they are preparing to sell their home. They have lived in an apartment in Brooklyn for 40 years. But with old age creeping up on them the gruelling five flights up to their flat is becoming a bit difficult for the pair. So they’re looking to get a place that is more convenient for them.

To help sell their place Ruth gets help from her niece Lily (Cynthia Nixon), who is a real estate agent. From the get go Alex is not sold on the idea, he really does not want to leave his home. And he is also not keen on people judging his home and the life he and his wife have lived.

To regain some control the pair go and scout out new prospective apartments. They find a place in Manhattan which they like and decide to put in a bid for it.

On the same weekend that the Carvers are having their open house, their beloved dog Dorothy falls ill and has to have spinal cord sugery. As if that is not enough, a suspected terrorist has abandoned a bus on the bridge messing up traffic and has gone on the 'run' resulting in a manhunt.

Through flashbacks we get some background on their life story: how they met, the struggles they faced as an interracial couple in the 70s, their inability to have children and more recently Ruth’s retirement to which Alex gifted her Dorothy. Their younger versions are played by Claire van der Boom and Korey Jackson, who do a really good job at channelling the ageing couple.

By the looks of it there is a lot happening here, the two subplots and the interweaving of the past and present. I do wish that they would have spend some more time  telling us  about the couple as it kind of feels short changed summing up 40 years of marriage in a handful of flashbacks.

Freeman and Keaton can do no wrong. If I didn’t know better I would swear they were a couple in real life. They have good chemistry and they have a ‘comfortableness’ about them of two people who have been together for a long time.

Cynthia Nixon was perfect in her role of somewhat neurotic real estate agent. If the aim was for the audience not to like her, she definitely succeeded.

I may not be the target audience for this film, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We don’t see many movies focusing on mature stories. It’s not a perfect movie, as the subplots were not really necessary. The film is based on the book Heroic Measures by Jill Climent and I suppose it works better in the book than on screen.

That said, it’s hard to resist the charm of Freeman and Keaton and a love story that spans 40 years… that’s relationship goals right there.

Read more on:    morgan freeman  |  movies

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Sara Myles 2015-06-22 11:36 AM
I'm confused by this headline. If Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman were a real-life couple they would choose to live it as completely fictional people going through a totally made up story? And the word for 'comfortableness' is comfort.
Mich Hai 2015-06-22 07:02 PM
So.... What's the title of this movie???

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