Though a dramatic film there are lots of light hearted moments and some comedic characters.
5 Flights Up
PG-13 | 92 min |Drama
Ruth (Diane Keaton) and Alex (Morgan Freeman) have lived in the same Brooklyn apartment building for over 40 years. When they moved in it was the 1970s and these newlyweds were ready to take the world by storm. Now that they are older the 5 Flights Up leading to their apartment seems to get longer and steeper each day. They are both still in decent shape but what about in the next few years? This leads them to the tough decision of selling and finding a place they can afford, and that has an elevator.
Though a dramatic film there are lots of light hearted moments and some comedic characters. As Ruth and Alex begin to show their apartment they run into all sorts of zany house hunters and over zealous Realtors. Alex doesn't really want to move and is concerned about the finances. Ruth is thinking of the future and wants to find something they can live in comfortably. These conversations are well written and effectively acted.
There are some interesting side plots that happen in this film. Along with the hectic buying and selling of apartments it seems a possible terrorist is on the run in NY. This of course causes the market to dip slightly and everyone is preoccupied with the story. Also Ruth and Alex's dog needs medical treatment and the discussion of where the money would be better spent, on the move of an aged dog, adds to their stress level.
Freeman always seems comfortable in any role he plays. As expected he is endearing and lovable; even in his most crotchety moments. Keaton too is her normal spastic almost ditzy scatterbrained self. Some may like that while others will be annoyed. She delivers her lines like she is making it up as she goes. You wonder if she is acting or just trying to keep up. Luckily Freeman is there to keep her grounded and bring some solidity to each scene.
There are flashback moments as we see Ruth and Alex begin their lives together. Many of these happen as one of them is caught up in a memory. It is hard not to reflect on your life when leaving a residence after that length of time. Their story is a happy one and we see two people who truly love and compliment each other. This is a film that will certainly connect with New Yorkers. Those who live outside the city and especially those unfamiliar with apartment living will often shake their head in bewilderment. Why would these two not head south to retire and get a nice home for half of what they are paying? You would have to live in NY to understand.
5 Flights Up is rated PG-13 for language and some nude images. Alex is a painter and some of his art depicts the nude female form. It isn't gratuitous or salacious. But be aware that it is there. The language is mild but every now and then a expletive will slip. This is a film made for older adults and so it is perfectly clean for the audiences it is intended for. I give it 3 out of 5 offers. It has a decent pace and the story is intriguing enough. Plus it is refreshing to watch talented actors in roles that are age appropriate.
Review - Matt Mungle - @themungle
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