Parents' Guide to

Wild Oats

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Senior-citizen adventure-comedy is unlikely to engage teens.

Movie PG-13 2016 86 minutes
Wild Oats Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
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With such great actors, this movie has some appeal, but it could have been so much better. The script succeeds in depicting a close female friendship, and the actors exploit moments of universal truth that follow to the fullest. But for the most part the screenplay lets the actors down over and over, with its reliance on cliché and formula. Older people refuse to put up with BS. They make fun of the protocol of condolences. And the plot's central scam is so obvious that you watch it lumbering ahead from a mile away. The best that can be said is that Wild Oats recalls the much funnier Dirty Rotten Scoundrels of 1988 (featuring Michael Caine and Steve Martin), with an aging widow thrown in.

Sadly, although Lange is a gifted dramatic performer, comedy looks like an ill-fitting outfit -- you can see the effort squeezing into it requires. Even in Tootsie she played the straight man to Dustin Hoffman. This is not the case for MacLaine, who remains a shrewd and canny performer, tossing off line readings no one else would think to utter. When it comes to comedy, whatever "it" is, she's still got it. Note that the action stops repeatedly for lengthy blackouts, seemingly where television commercials are meant to play.

Movie Details

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