The sexual lives and inclinations of people over 40 have long been near-taboo subjects, especially in American cinema; theoretically, no one likes to think about their parents or grandparents being interested in sex and romance, as if with age necessarily comes a turning off of desire and even fantasy. Yet perhaps an even more complex subject is trying to describe the often contradictory emotional lives of those who’ve grown older—the mix of friendship or near-parental concern with someone younger that at times can cross the boundary into emotional bonding or even physical attraction.
A Long Way from Home offers a gently bittersweet look at two people who may well be romantically compatible, had circumstances been otherwise. James Fox and Brenda Fricker present a sensitive, nuanced depiction of what happens when a longtime commitment is put to the test, and how sometimes patience and understanding can be the wisest choice.
This week’s question: What’s your favorite film about romance between older folks?
“While perhaps it’s not the film’s principal subject, I still find the ending of Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman—when the father announces that in fact he’s the one getting married—supremely satisfying,” said host Richard Peña.