How About You uses the standard Christmastime-heals-all-wounds trope to tell a story about a retirement home full of scrooges who have no place to go for the holidays. Ellie (Hayley Atwell) is the young nurse who must teach these old-timers how to live after most of them “checked out of life” and into the home. She, of course, learns a few life lessons herself, and in the end they all learn that it’s better to love those around you rather than become bitter over life’s disappointments. What keeps this film a few tearjerks away becoming a Hallmark special are the occasional surprises the characters reveal in their histories, not to mention the narrative’s somewhat less-than-conventional (if sometimes lurching) unfolding of these past lives. It’s the acting, however, that makes How About You palatable. If not for the surprisingly deft attention given to character idiosyncrasies, the film would have been reduced to a visual filler for Christmas music in the background. Though the film misses its chance to make a real commentary on our society’s treatment of the elderly, as far as Christmas films go, you could do much worse.
- Strand Releasing
- 100 min
- Anthony Byrne
- Meave Binchy, Jean Pasley
- Joss Ackland, Hayley Atwell, Orla Brady, Brenda Fricker, Elizabeth Moynihan, Joan O'Hara, Vanessa Redgrave, Imelda Staunton
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