The Last Word
Director: Mark Pellington
Cast: Shirley MacLain, Adina Porter, Alanna Ubach, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Heche, Joel Murray
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Country of Origin: USA 2016 108 mins. (15)
Official Selection 2016 Sundance Film Festival
Released by Vertigo Releasing
Retired advertising executive Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLain), bored and bitter and not in the best of health, needs an obituary writer to post good words in case the angels are waiting.
Obituary writer Ann Sherman (Anne Seyfried), seconded from the local rag, which is kept from folding by Harriet's cash doesn't hit it off with know it all Harriet 9surprise, surprise) who wins over FM station boss Robin Sands (Thomas Sadoski) with a prime time DJ slot and looking for a good works scenario, hooks up with 9-year-old African-American Brenda (Ann Jewel Lee Dixon) at the community centre. Edward (Philip Baker Hall), her 'jackass' ex-husband pops up, she gets a brief chat with estranged daughter Elizabeth (Ann Heche) and there's romance on the horizon for the obituary writer.
If only the film had stayed with Shirley MacLain. What a waste. After the opening sequence it drifts into so-so predictable romcom mode, moves to the cliff edge and disappears.