Grandma is a 2015 comedy drama film directed by Paul Weitz and starring Lily Tomlin. It is one of the year’s most entertaining and amusing films.
It is about a lesbian poet who is coping with the recent death of the love of her life. Her granddaughter is pregnant and asks her for the money for abortion. Together they embark on a road trip to visit various people and ask them for help. This is such an intriguing premise that is thankfully also executed as such. I loved this film and I found its story to be so engaging and immensely entertaining. What I love about this film is how it is brief, lasting for less than 80 minutes. That is great because there isn’t a single wasted scene here, but the film also isn’t rushed which is great. It lasts for just about the right length and it is a further proof that most movies do not need a two hour running time.
The characters are the biggest reason why Grandma works so well. Elle herself is terrific. I loved her as she is not only incredibly funny, but also realistic and still caring at the end of the day. And her sense of humor is brilliant, she made me laugh so many times. Sage is a typical, albeit well realized character. And the same can be said for her mother. As for the various people they meet along the way, they are all very well developed and memorable for the short screen time they received. Grandma is wonderfully feminist, not in a forced way, but in presenting us genuinely interesting and funny female characters that are also flawed and realistic and I loved that about it.
The acting is magnificent! Julia Garner is pretty good as is Marcia Gay Harden. Lily Tomlin is truly fantastic in such a strong and memorable role. Her performance is so fantastic and so natural that her snub at the Academy Awards is appalling as she gave one of the best performances of the year.
As for the flaws, Grandma is mostly a very good film, but it does have some things about it that annoyed me. The entire road trip is forced at times with the car breaking near the end being a too unfortunate occurrence. Also, the granddaughter and her mother are both pretty typical characters that I’ve seen multiple times these days.
But for the most part, this film works in such a stupendous way. The script is excellent, the editing is amazing and tight and the directing is pretty good. The tone is phenomenal as the movie is not only funny, but also emotional and very heartwarming at times. But it never goes into overly maudlin territory and ends on such a good note. The humor is just terrific and the film made me laugh so many times and that really caught me by surprise. It just might be the funniest film of the year with such a good sense of humor. The dialogue is also fantastic with so many memorable lines and the film is wonderful as a wildly entertaining road trip flick with such an infectious energy. It is not only funny, but smart and emotional as well. And also pretty grounded in reality. Its plethora of various supporting characters is also quite intriguing and the film is above all so much fun to watch. I enjoyed every second of it and it just might be the most entertaining film of 2015. It is one of the biggest underappreciated gems of the season and such a charming and immensely enjoyable flick.