Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
Lily Tomlin’s no cuddly movie granny in this richly loaded comedy of intergenerational female camaraderie – and exasperation. She’s just sent her young girlfriend (Judy Greer) packing and she is super cranky. When her teenage granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) turns up out of nowhere, Elle (Tomlin) gets the picture in no time: Sage is pregnant and whatever she decides to do, she’s counting on grandma to come out fighting for her. In the course of a day, Elle fronts up to anyone who could or should, in her opinion, help Sage out: the hapless impregnator, her own friends and ex-lovers, and, most unlikely of all, Elle’s daughter, Sage’s uptight lawyer mother (a hilarious Marcia Gay Harden). Writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy, American Pie) knows just how to pace his stellar cast and lightly convey the poignancy of imperfect life choices that make laughing out loud so essential.
“This is a refreshingly modest, no-frills movie that is character-driven in the most rewarding possible sense, with an ample share of priceless dialogue played for truth, not for jokes. The performances are lovely, including that of up-and-comer Garner, who has many touching moments as Sage… However, everything in the movie revolves around the irreplaceable Tomlin, and rightly so. Her entire history as an actor, a comedian, a feminist and a pioneering voice for LGBT rights comes into play in this formfitting role. Anybody who loves her – and if you don’t, why are you even reading? – won’t want to miss this.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter