Senior Moment is an unflattering example of what producers and filmmakers believe will connect with an older demographic. It’s twee and fairly clean, stars familiar and likeable faces, and the plot uses a failsafe story of a has-been getting back on the saddle. While this formula can hit its stride (Book Club, starring Diane Keaton, being a recent favourite), it can also shamelessly pander towards its audience (And So It Goes, another Keaton vehicle). Perhaps if the film’s washed-out lead had been assigned to Diane Keaton, Senior Moment would’ve had the leverage it needed to explore other options for the film to develop in interesting ways. Instead, the lead role is fulfilled by William Shatner who shuffles through the movie as himself – do we expect anything less?
As Victor Martin, Shatner plays an ex-pilot who has burned out in more ways than one. His speed racing shenanigans land him in “exposition court”, where Martin’s best friend Sal (Christopher Lloyd) explains who Victor is and the judge revokes Victor’s driving license and impounds his car; giving the speedster an opportunity to take a driving test and earn his license back. He branches out to a suspicious contact (Don McManus) who can guarantee a passing grade for Victor if paid a large sum of money. The practice trials: video games, as well as games of chess and basketball – all while ignoring young women in bikinis.
Victor also has a meet-cute with Caroline (Jean Smart), the owner of a quaint healthy restaurant, when Caroline starts criticizing Victor’s diet among other things. She’s upset at him and his vintage car for causing a scene in her parking lot, he tries to fix the restaurant’s old cuckoo clock to make it up to her. A surprisingly bizarre amount of time of Senior Moment is focused on fixing this cuckoo clock, perhaps to distract audiences away from how thin the main plot is. The same can be said for flirty exchanges between an ogling Shatner and a scantily-clad Katrina Bowden, which even leads to a spontaneous pool party at one point, and when Victor chases people down who he believes are driving his impounded car (as if nobody else could own the same vehicle).
Senior Moment is pretty pointless but, then again, there doesn’t necessarily have to be a point to a movie that’s simply trying to entertain a specific demographic for 90-ish minutes. But, the filmmakers still have to care about their audience, and director Giorgio Serafini does not. The movie is nothing more than a checklist of lame factors that are set to autopilot, assuming the mere mention of something cute or quirky will make the audience lightly giggle or contentedly sigh. Senior Moment is a lazy movie that an obsolete computer could’ve made.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie