The cast was an appetising one, and who doesn't enjoy a film with a mix of comedy, drama and road-trip? Does 'The Time of Their Lives' fully live up its potential? No. Is it a bad film? Not to me. Could it have been better? Of course. It is an uneven film, but is a pleasant way to pass the time and there is nothing offensive about it.
It has plenty of reasons as to why people will like it. It is also not too hard to see why people would not. It is a long way from perfect. It is corny in places. It is clichéd too. And parts of the story are implausible, with a few absurd plot twists. Didn't mind so much that the story is pretty slight, but not every scene comes off with a contrived scene where the characters get stoned and a too dragged out ending.
Also wouldn't have minded a little more comedy, the film is certainly not devoid of laughs and they are not bad in quality at all but there were instances where the seriousness could have been toned down and more balanced.
However, there is a lot to like. Really liked the performances. Pauline Collins brings the right amount of vulnerability to her role, and as a character that is the complete opposite the glamorous and as ever looking younger than her 84 years Joan Collins throws herself into it with abandon. The two have a lovely natural chemistry, essential for making the film work.
Franco Nero balances comedy, drama and charm effortlessly and Joely Richardson is really quite wonderful.
'The Time of Their Lives' is a nice-looking film. Very picturesque locations and beautifully shot. The soundtrack is infectious and the direction allows the two leads and their chemistry to properly shine to the forefront and handles the different tones well.
While the script and story could have been more consistent, it is very uplifting and heart-warming while taking it seriously, reminiscent of a mix of 'Thelma and Louise' and 'Shirley Valentine. The Time of Their Lives' may be corny, clichéd and implausible but these negative qualities are also balanced out well with more positive attributes. There are parts that are genuinely funny, the chemistry between Joan and Pauline sees sweet moments without being saccharine and some of it is surprisingly moving.
Overall, uneven but pleasant. 7/10 Bethany Cox.