Lovely, Still follows Landau’s Robert Malone, a man who looks like he’s said far too many goodbyes and not enough hellos. With Christmas on the horizon causing him to feel lonely in life and love, he strikes up a relationship with a stranger (Ellen Burstyn) he finds in his home on his way back from work and it blossoms into love affair that ends in a wholly unexpected manner.
Working at the local supermarket, he asks fellow workers for tips on how to conduct himself on dates, involving hapless store manager Mike (Adam Scott) in his attempts to woo Burstyn’s Mary. It’s at the supermarket where Mary first encounters Robert much to the chagrin of her daughter Rebecca (Elizabeth Banks in a brief appearance). Robert’s longing for companionship compels him to find happiness with Mary before life slips him by.
Throughout the film I was applying the usual conventions of the rom-com template to this film, waiting to see at which moment it would hold on to the safety of convention. When would the eventual break-up/re-unification come etcetera, etc. Instead director Nik Fackler rather skilfully averts your eyes from the real story at hand, at moments suggesting that there is something wrong but never revealing its hand too early. When the revelation comes, it’s not too surprising as you half expect something but not quite the answer that the film presents.
Warm and emotional entertainment Lovely, Still overcomes it’s generic presentation and turns into something that’s much more affecting than you’d think it’ll be. The cast give commendable performances (especially Burstyn) and while the film may skew to an older audience, it’s definitely an interesting tale of old age creeping up and a life filled with loneliness. You may want to hug your mum or dad after watching this one.