The Time of Their Lives (PG) | Close-Up Film Review
While not a classic, this light comedy is an enjoyable romp and is worth seeing for the performances by the two main actresses Collins J. and Collins P. (not related).
Joan Collins plays Helen Shelley, a once famous film star now living in a retirement home but still touting for work. Pauline is Priscilla, in a not too happy marriage with Ronald Pickup as her husband, Frank. We later learn that while Priscilla is still obviously suffering over the death of her son some 40 years ago when he was just four, her husband seems to blame her for his death.
Helen wants to get to the funeral of her ex-lover (although not invited), a director, but she needs help and finds exactly the right person to accompany her in Priscilla who is keen to escape her humdrum life. The two women embark on a road trip from London to France. With little money between them they somehow manage to travel by coach, ferry, car and their own feet until they reach their destination. Various little adventures occur on the way as they are followed by Frank and the couple’s eldest daughter. The main adventure being the two older women’s involvement with wealthy Italian widower (Franco Nero). Both women fancy him, but he is attracted to only one of them! When they get to the funeral they met up with the ex-lover’s daughter (Joely Richardson) who has more secrets to tell or not tell!
The script is not very good, but the two actresses make the most of it. Joan Collins plays an exaggerated version of herself. She has some good moments, however, especially when she is allowed to show a deeper emotion and towards the end when she discards her wig and some of her make-up. Pauline Collins is always good value and she gives a good depiction of a sad housewife who finds herself on a most unusual journey.
Director Roger Goldby can only work with what he has been given so although there are some laughs it is not as funny as one would hope.