The love triangle. A perfect setup for a romantic comedy about that guy we all know who doesn't want to take on age responsibility. It's a story we've all seen before and no doubt will again, and again, and again. And why wouldn't we? It's one of those stories that just work; one of those things that we don't need to waste precious screen time explaining - because everyone just understands. Nobody really wants to do that "adulting" thing, all the way until they hit that point in life where they do want it. Badly. As for finally deciding you want to settle down with that one special someone? The truth is that that stage in life rarely arrives simultaneously for both parties and, unless forced, can lead to some really complicated situations. Then again, the same can be said even if it is forced. Love and responsibility are tricky beasts - a fact brilliantly showcased in this film on multiple levels.
For me, "Older" was a much, much better film than I had thought it would be, and since I'm not really a fan of the romance genre, a four-star rating is one hell of an accomplishment. No question. In the film, Alex is a man quickly approaching that milestone thirtieth birthday and, aside from a disliked horror film under his filmmaker belt, seemingly doesn't have a whole lot going for him. He likes to party, loves the single life, has no job, and lives with his parents. With no real cares in the world, Alex is free to pursue whatever and whoever he chooses. It's when his best friend finally gets hitched that this story begins - that Alex's new story begins. With his best friend now mostly out of the picture, Alex reconnects with an old friend Jenny. The two hit it off, but Alex refuses to believe they could be anything more than just friends with benefits. The reason? Alex still has a crush on Stephanie - and he's been waiting for her for a very long time. Here's the thing, Stephanie isn't the type of girl who is ready to settle down. She hasn't yet reached that point in life. She would rather string people along in order to make herself feel special - and doesn't really love anyone but herself. Do you see where this story is going? After a tragedy and some shocking news shortly after, Alex is forced to reevaluate what he wants in life... and who he wants to share it with.
Although sprinkled with a bit of comedy, "Older" really does put romance above all else, especially during the second half. This is the very definition of the genre, and yet, there's a little something more that captured the attention of even me - a guy who doesn't usually like these kinds of movies. If I were to guess, a little of that magic comes from the chemistry between Guy Pigden and Liesha Ward Knox as the starring couple. Astra McLaren, as Stephanie, the woman Alex has been eye-balling forever, also plays a huge part in the way Alex and Jenny interact. It's that awkward atmosphere that makes Alex and Jenny's emotional climb all the better. But honestly, that feeling of friendship and how the two (Alex and Jenny) talk to each other really made this film shine. For me, anyhow. Also adding a little sparkle to the movie are the filmed flashbacks used sparingly throughout. These little tidbits of history add visual depth to the film, something to compliment the history of the film's characters. It all worked out quite nicely.
My wife happened to be in the same room as I watched "Older," and I was more than a little surprised when I realized she was right into the movie. To be completely honest, she loves this type of flick, so Pigden's film was right up her alley. If it were up to her, "Older" probably would have scored a little higher - and that really says volumes when you factor in one major thing. She isn't really into indie flicks - so the fact she loved this one really told me something. But her thoughts on the film aside, I can't deny that I was also hooked - line and sinker. If you're into the romantic drama genre, you just may rate this film a little higher than I did... but for me, four-stars seems more than reasonable. To Guy Pigden and his troupe of talent in front of, and behind the camera... well done. Four stars.