Middle Age Crazy
Time Out saysLoosely based around a weepie sung by Jerry Lee Lewis, this should have you cringing in the aisles. Dern's Joe Suburbia appears to have everything - a wife (Ann-Margret) whose only consideration is her husband's satisfaction; a son who wants to be an architect; a business (building taco stands) that's thriving; and a ranch-styled villa with a jacuzzi. But in every dream home is a heartache, and Dern gets neurotic when he crosses the middle-age dateline of 39 to 40. All the popular US taboos suddenly strike: the quest for eternal youth ('The future sucks. Stay 18 for the rest of your lives'), the fear of death (Jessica Mitford for the '80s), male menopause (virility means you can score with a younger girl). Although Dern and Ann-Margret struggle valiantly, the cloying sentimentality, the repressive morality, the flabby direction and the scabrous script result in a slice of irredeemable cod.