Elliott Greenebaum’s mostly contemptible debut feature sports a potentially engaging, if thinly drawn premise. Take a laconic twentysomething stoner jackass (Michael Bonsignore) who wouldn’t look out of place toking up with Jay and Silent Bob, plop him down in a nursing home and let the hijinks and life lessons ensue. The concept might have marked a welcome change of pace—how many neophyte filmmakers choose to focus on the elderly? Unfortunately, this slight, bizarre amalgam of documentary and fiction is neither entertaining nor enlightening. Greenebaum’s idea of a comic set piece involves Todd, the aforementioned stoner/janitor, making phone calls from heaven to the clueless residents. Are we meant to understand that all elderly folks are dumb and gullible? Eventually, Assisted Living settles down to focus on Todd’s relationship with Mrs. Pearlman (Maggie Riley), a resident on the cusp of Alzheimer’s who begins assigning to Todd the qualities of her long-lost son. Todd sleepily assumes the role, a decision that, we are told at the beginning of the film, will get him fired. Assisted Living was shot in an actual Kentucky nursing home, with many actors playing themselves. By design, the day-to-day routines of the facility, from bingo to chapel to calisthenics, look and sound authentic, but Greenebaum never molds his inchoate elements into any clear shape. The narrative is interpolated with talking-heads commentary on mostly unilluminating subjects, making this 77-minute trifle feel hours longer.
- Economic Projections
- 77 min
- Elliot Greenebaum
- Elliot Greenebaum
- Michael Bonsignore, Maggie Riley, Nancy Jo Boone, Malerie Boone, Hance Purcell, Kathy Hogan, Jose Albovias
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