It’s an iron-clad, scientifically proven and peer-reviewed fact that the three most irritating devices to plague the movie portrayal of senior citizens are: old lady rapping, old lady cussing and old-lady-on-a-motorbike. According to this matrix, [...The Leisure Seeker] challenges Meat Loaf‘s dictum that two out of three ain’t bad: While we can be thankful for the small mercy that nobody actually raps, the other two motifs do occur and it’s quite bad indeed.
If this sounds like the trip you’ve been on countless times before (think of Alexander Payne’s About Schmidt and Nebraska), that’s because The Leisure Seeker is an annoyingly predictable mash-up of oft-explored themes. Mirren and Sutherland deliver performances on par with their talent—it’s a good chance that Sutherland may receive his first ever, long-overdue Oscar nod—but even they cannot resuscitate a flat script.
It’s not what I could call a good movie, and everything wrong with it was for me summed up by the fact that the filmmakers acquired the rights to Janis Joplin’s always heart-rending version of “Me and Bobbie McGee,” put it on the soundtrack, and then declined to let it play out until the end. The movie is only willing to serve up its truths halfway. And I still teared up.