23 Walks is a quiet romantic movie for the over 50s. It’s a movie you can watch with your grandmother. There’s nothing offensive — no violence or swearing, just a little discreet sex. It’s a perfect film for a quiet day at home. For the romantics.
Fern (Alison Steadman) and Dave (Dave Johns) are lonely. They take their dogs – who practically steal the movie – on daily walks in a North London park. After a somewhat bristly first encounter, the two strike up a friendship. Over the course of their twenty-three walks, their friendship has potential for romance but both are heart sore and move slowly.
But the path of true love never does run smoothly – in movies anyway. And so there are family issues, jealousy, financial concerns. There’s even a side-eye at politics–council housing, caring for the elderly. Yep, they’re all there. Not in an over-the-top way but in that all to frustrating persistent way that life’s dramas unfold.
23 Walks is definitely a thinker – especially for those often ignored by filmmakers, the over 50s, 60s, 70s. Have I had my one love? Am I destined to live and die alone? Sombre thoughts.
The acting, is of course, subtle. I mean it’s British. The directing is tight (Paul Morrison) and guides the audience sympathetically through the clichés. And did I mention the dogs? Gotta love a movie with dogs. The scenery is great – I had forgotten the wonderful parks in London. Note to self—if ever I get to visit London again, go in the Summer.
Sometimes you just want a feel-good movie. And 23 Walks delivers that in buckets.
23 Walks in Cinemas nationally 30 July. 103 minutes. Rated M.
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