Madeleine: So Kate, a couple weeks ago, you sent me a text asking me to go see the old-man, buddy, bro-out comedy Last Vegas with you. What on earth were you thinking?
Kate: Well Madeleine, now that we've seen said film, I'm not quite sure. I know that I was unironically/ironically? pretty excited to see it, way back in May, when the trailer came out. In fact, I even wrote a post on my own blog entitled "No Reason This Won't Be Great" that (if I'm remembering correctly) was pretty devoid of sarcasm. I mean, it's four Academy Award winners LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE.
They've also totally stolen their tagline from How I Met Your Mother ("It's going to be legendary"), which is the kind of creative theft I can get behind.
Madeleine: Who do you think this movie was for? Because it clearly wasn't for us.
Kate: No it was certainly not for us. I was surprised there was even another person under 30 in the movie showing we attended. It made me feel like this ol' world has some tricks up its sleeve yet.
Madeleine: We were two of about 10 people in the entire theater. There was one young couple and then four pairings of people who I would guess were all over 65. And the older people seemed to love it, which was weird to me considering how the the movie was full of stuff that could be interpreted as pretty insulting to the elderly.
Then again, maybe I found it rude because I can't relate to it and therefore am put in the position of laughing AT it rather than WITH it.
Kate: Right, I felt the same way. It was basically just one joke about getting old after another. [Insert references to prostate cancer/Viagra/strokes/sagging bodies here.] Maybe when you get older it's important to laugh at the really sad stuff that dominates your life. Yes, that must be the moral of this movie. REVIEW OVER AND SCENE.
Madeleine: Let's briefly summarize the movie for those of our readers who weren't one of the other eight people with us in the theater last night:
Last Vegas is about four men in their 70s who've been best friends since childhood. They regroup in Las Vegas because one of them (Michael Douglas) has just proposed to his 30-year-old girlfriend (DURING a eulogy at a funeral, btw) and they're now throwing him a bachelor party. The three other men are Kevin Kline, whose wife gives him a free pass to sleep with anyone he wants over the weekend (along with a condom and viagra pill), Morgan Freeman, who is sick of being babied by his son (Michael Ealy) and wants a weekend free to drink and gamble, and Robert De Niro, who is reluctant to go because he's still mourning the loss of his wife who died less than a year ago.
Kate: It was pretty predictable, though I guess effective, that we're introduced to these guys in one of those awesome flashbacks to the "old days," when they were just kids, rough-housing around their neighborhood in Brooklyn. Clearly, they have a bond that has lasted a lifetime. That bond seemed to consist largely of the indifference they all have about women, except when said women are really good-looking.
Madeleine: Which, conveniently, are the only kind of women around — except for the old ladies in bathing suits whose appearances are played for gags. But it's worth noting that the primary love interest in the movie is faaaaairly close to them in age. Things really get shaken up when they meet Mary Steenburgen (who is 60 in real life) and both De Niro and Douglas fall for her.
Kate: Mary Steenburgen — who I generally refer to as the very lucky lady who married Ted Danson (and vice versa).
Madeleine: Yeah, why wasn't Ted Danson (the handsomest man alive) in this?
We both gasped in delight when she came on camera, by the way.
Kate: Yeah, I think we all know that her character Diana deserved a worthier love interest than these buffoons – and that love interest definitely should have been Ted Danson. I will say that whoever did costume design for this movie really knocked it out of the park, especially with her costumes (and the eventual tuxes the men change into for the big party scene). When I leave my job as a tax attorney (or whatever she did) and start up as a Las Vegas lounge singer, I will wear jumpsuits and long floor-length velvet dresses.
Madeleine: She was wearing some amazing palazzo pants. THAT SAID. She was pretty much the AARP version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Besides being funny and immediately able to get along with the Flatbush Four (as the men are known), she didn't really have a personality. She was just there to enhance their lives.
Kate: After explaining the brief story of her life, did she ever get asked a single question about herself? Nope. She was just there, along for the ride, game to have a drink at 3 in the afternoon with a bunch of dudes who were literally salivating over her (actually now that I write that sentence out, it doesn't sound that horrible).
I felt like their love of her was supposed to make us feel like this motley crew of Hollywood's finest was a set of "good guys," much the way the scene of them judging a bikini contest and giving most of the women 10's was. Though the real star of that bikini contest was a SURPRISE APPEARANCE FROM REDFOO of LMFAO. He should have been in every scene.
Madeleine: There were so many depressing cameos in this. Redfoo AND 50 Cent, two people no longer relevant to youth culture at all. Romany Malco also had a small part and I think we both agreed that he deserved better than this movie. Jerry Ferrara, however, was a perfect and natural inclusion.
Kate: I love how you referred to him by his real life name and I just immediately was like "Wait who? Turtle from Entourage?" Poor Jerry. He will never not be Turtle.
I liked how all of a sudden these much younger men were like eating out of the hands of Robert De Niro – and not scary Robert De Niro. Like the crankiest, softest, "my wife is dead" Robert De Niro ever. Somehow, there was this magical transformation where they became "cool" and it had to do with the fact that Robert De Niro – I'm sorry, his character's name was Paddy – punched Turtle.
Maybe that's just something I don't get about men: the ability of a punch to transcend the fact that one of your group members will not take off his leather fanny pack (Morgan Freeman).
Madeleine: Wait wait wait. A lot of half-baked incidents led up to that transformation. Like, when the four of them first arrived in Vegas, every young person was ridiculously hostile to them for no other reason than because they were old. It was actually bewildering how disproportionate these young people's annoyance and anger were to the actual situation at hand (which was just four older dudes rolling up into the casino).
But they do eventually win everyone over with their old timey manners and willingness resort to fisticuffs — usually because some young buck is being rude to the bikini-clad ladies that our four leads are trying to hook up with. Unless of course, you're Turtle and you're tricked into being polite to them because they lie and say they're in the mafia.
One point of contention we experienced after the movie is that I genuinely thought Robert De Niro was good in it and you thought that was crazy. Did you find anything redeeming about the film?
Kate: Um...no? But I spent most of the movie A.) freaking out over Morgan Freeman's 30 second dance scene and B.) inexplicably concerned with making a decision about, if I had to, which of the four older gentleman I would sleep with.
Madeleine: And what did you decide?
Kate: I am still sort of uncertain. Kevin Kline? I definitely vetoed Morgan but that's just because you can't sleep with Morgan Freeman.
Madeleine: Because of the step-granddaughter thing?
Kate: Yes, because of the step-granddaughter thing (and because he always plays God and you can't have sex with God). Unfortunately Michael Douglas, who would be my pick in real life, was SO orange the whole movie. It was like he finished making Behind the Candelabra and decided not to change his hair or makeup at all to play an entirely different, heterosexual character.
So then it's just down to Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline. And while Robert De Niro is the clear "good guy" of the movie, he's really sad most of the time. But Kevin Kline is a general idiot who goes around telling women that he "has a condom" in an attempt to let them know he's sexually available. So I got stuck.
You, on the other hand, did not seem to worry too much about which of these four Academy Award AARP members were the most sexually viable, which says nothing good about me and lots of good things about you.
Madeleine: Don't get too far ahead of yourself — there was a moment at the end of this seemingly endless movie when I leaned over to you and expressed something along the lines of "I hope all of these characters get poisoned."
As for the "which of these guys is the most sexually viable" question, I have no answer, but that's simply because my answer is always Ted Danson.
Kate: Yes, agreed. Ted Danson, you can attend my last trip to Vegas anytime (*winks*).