Mack and Rita

By Joanna Langfield

God bless Diane Keaton, whose very exuberant appearance in this ohso slight rom-com disproves just about all of the Life Lessons the movie is trying to impart.

Aimed, maybe, at those of us old enough to remember when a whole rash of movies where characters magically changed ages were released, this one is about a 30 year old beauty who just doesn’t feel right in this world. Sure, she’s young and gorgeous and cued in to the whole influencer world, but what she’d really like to do is sit at a deli with gray haired retirees and have tea. We’ve all been there. So, poof, too pooped to party with her friends, Mack lies down in an old sun tanning bed and wakes up 70. Of course the 70 year old version of her is played by the wonderful Keaton, so all is not lost. But most of everything else sure is.

I guess the message here is stuff about fitting in, finding yourself and maybe calming down about the whole thing. And those are admirable goals. But the script, which feels as if it was dashed off on a notepad, is perfectly satisfied to rest on its nice intentions. There’s no character development at all. And the story relies on tropes older than the body-switching gimmick itself. We have the handsome hunk next door, the adorable old ladies who, it seems, don’t do much except get together, drink wine and tell sex jokes, and, my personal favorite, the “oh-my-God-did-I-just-take-drugs?” scene, where everything turns slowly and in psychedelic colors. Keaton just blasts through all that, merrily dismissing the nonsense with a much appreciated lah-di-dah and manages to show us that  age is not a number, nor should it limit us. And oh, do I wish someone would make a movie with her about that.