It’s never too late to find a new outlook on life and love, at least that is what Finding Your Feet tells us. On the surface, this looks like a date night movie for the Leisure World set. But the wisdom the film imparts can be absorbed by people of any age.
Lady Sandra Abbott’s (Imelda Staunton) life looks rosy. Her husband is retiring from the police where he has risen to Commissioner and received a knighthood. They will have the time to enjoy life and travel. But at his retirement party, she discovers he has been having an affair with her best friend for the last five years. She goes to the only person she can think of, her estranged sister Bif (Celia Imrie) who lives a free-spirited life in public housing. The Odd Couple contrast between the up-tight and proper Sandra and her colorful sister makes for some difficult times, but of course, their time together will be healing for them both.
Sandra isn’t very fond of Bif’s friends, but when she begins to go with her to a community dance class for seniors, she begins to lighten up. When she begins to warm to the working-class Charlie (Timothy Spall), the film shifts into romcom mode, which often works well with people of a certain age, as it does here.
As one who is old enough to live in a retirement community, I can appreciate watching people of this age dealing with the struggles of falling in love at this point in life. I also appreciate the age-specific issues that provide the complications: including cancer, dementia, and grief. But although the film reflects issues that affect seniors more than younger people, in the end what it teaches is applicable for everyone.
This is a story of second chances. Not so much about giving people a second chance as much as being willing to take the risk to find a second chance. Sandra’s life, as rosy as it seemed at the beginning, quickly fell apart. Many of the friends she meets in her new world are all dealing with struggles of one sort or another. Yet as they come together to dance from week to week, they find something new in their lives. They get the opportunity to live with joy, even when there is darkness all around them.
Perhaps what makes this age group so appropriate for a film like this is not that seniors are more likely to face having to start over. Rather, by the time you reach this age, you may look back and understand that life is filled with these new beginnings. Therein lies the wisdom of the film. It teaches us, no matter our age, that change can bring joy yet again.
Photos courtesy of Roadside Attractions