The Mavericks selection Old Goats (2010) from writer-director Taylor Guterson, was one of the many films that instantly caught my attention. When I first read the synopsis, I had two thoughts: 1) “Sounds like a real-life Grumpy Old Men, I can dig it”, and 2) “My dad will love this”. Old Goats isn’t Grumpy Old Men, but that doesn’t detract from the film one bit. Filled with the honest humor and laid-back realism that made films like Grumpy Old Men such a classic, Old Goats provides a rarely seen glimpse into the lives of “senior” men.
Bob (Bob Burkholder), Britt (Britton Crosley) and Dave (David Vander Wal) come together through a senior’s fitness class in a sleepy Pacific Northwest town. Bob is a “calls-em-like-I-sees-em” wise-cracker who doesn’t let his advancing age keep him down. Constantly busy with a roster of weekly events – and a selection of lady friends – he refuses to cut friends/neighbors/random strangers any slack when passing on his pearls of wisdom and to-the-point honesty. Britt, on the other hand, seems to have lived a somewhat more timid life, spending the past thirty-some years living on a modest sailboat that has never seen the open water. Britt dreams of sailing to Hawaii, but when confronted with the prospect of the ‘newness’ of unknown travel, recoils below deck to wait it out. Meanwhile, Dave, a recently retired businessman, struggles with his lack of routine and forms a deep and unexpected connection with the two men.
When Dave and Bob introduce Britt to the world wide web and the wide world of online dating, Britt is forced out of his comfort zone, armed with a WiFi connection and mobile phone. Not quite a mockumentary, Old Goats offers an entertaining and creative twist on the way we perceive the lives of the plus-5o crowd and is certain to charm audiences, both young and old.
Old Goats sees its Canadian premiere Saturday, September 24th at 7:00pm at Eau Claire Market Cineplex Odeon, with an encore screening Monday, September 26th at 9:30pm at The Plaza Theatre. My dad loved it, and I think you will, too.