What it's about:
"Elsa and Fred" is the story of two people who at the end of the road, discover that it's never too late to love and make dreams come true. Elsa has lived for the past 60 years dreaming of a moment that Fellini had already envisaged: the scene in 'La Dolce Vita' at the Fontana di Trevi. The same scene without Anita Ekberg in it, but with Elsa instead. Without Marcello Mastroianni but with that love that took so long to arrive. Fred has always been a good man who did everything he was supposed to do. After losing his wife, he feels disturbed and confused and his daughter decides that it would be best if he moves into a smaller apartment where he ends meeting Elsa. From that moment on, everything changes. Elsa bursts into his life like a whirlwind, determined to teach him that the time he has left to live - be it more or less - is precious and that he should enjoy it as he pleases. Fred surrenders to Elsa's frenzy, to her youth, to her boldness, to her beautiful madness.
What we thought:
It’s very seldom that the leads in a romantic comedy are an 85-year-old and 81-year-old. It’s very presumptuous to assume that finding love is entirely the endeavour of the youth, isn’t it?
Elsa (Shirley MacLaine) is a senior who dances to the tune of her own music, she’s flamboyant and quite full of life for someone who is battling a serious illness. She is completely obsessed with the movie, “La Dolce Vita”, she even claims that she bores a striking resemblance to the lead Anita Ekberg. Her biggest dream is to go to Rome to recreate a famous fountain scene in the movie.
When grumpy, loner, widow Fred (Christopher Plummer) moves into her apartment building she is instantly taken by him. Fred’s overbearing daughter, Lydia (Marcia Gay Harden) and son-in-law Jack (Chris Noth) have decided that he would be better off living in a department with a caregiver. Sick of life and pumped on medication Fred has decided that he is done with life and wants to live out his last days in his bed.
But Elsa is persistent and it isn’t long until she drags him out of his bed and shell, he dumps his medication, starts taking walks and embarks on adventures will Elsa. And somehow along the way the pair fall in love and embark on a sweet romance.
It’s really hard not to instantly fall in love with Elsa & Fred.
Christopher Plummer and Shirely MacLaine are simply terrific. They have great chemistry and match each other perfectly. Their characters play off each other well.
The script is smart and witty and the plot moves at a solid pace. It has the perfect balance between light and serious themes.
Even if romantic geriatric comedies aren’t your thing, this one is worth the watch.
The story is universal and will appeal to both young and old. Sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s never too late to find love or to embark on a new journey or to make your dreams come true.
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