As I have aged over the past 10 years, much of what is pictured in Hollywood movies regarding women’s lives and concerns has not resonated so much with me. I suspect I may not be alone in this.
As a late-middle-aged woman I had my battles with weight gain and inevitable changing physical appearance – greying hair, more saggy musculature,, the appearance of lines on face and throat, mottling skin. No, the mirror never lies unlike intimates who wish to minimize these changes that are taking place. And the actresses in the movies of the same vintage as I are either the perennially unchanging Goldie Hawn, or the elegant, long-boned Diane Keaton. who seems somewhat fixed in amber.
So imagine my surprised delight when my friend “The Lady of Perpetual Crisis” brought over a video one evening for us to watch while “Rumpole” was at his bass guitar lesson. In it, a group of neighbourhood women of varying ages embark on a trip downtown to see the doctor overseeing their diet and exercise regime. This is a wonderfully humorous look at the quirky things that can happen en route to a simple experience of weighing in and sitting in a waiting room.
“C’t’a ton tour Laura Cadieux” 1998, Canadian, starring Ginette Reno, Pierrette Robitaille. Directed by Etienne Chatiliez and Denise Filiatrault.
“C’t’a ton tour…” is a marvellous example of casting an ensemble of very fine actors, Quebecois patois and humour and realistic, un-glossed settings. Ginette Reno, a beloved Quebec Chanteuse, does a fine turn as actress in this movie.
Many women of my generation have been labelled as the “sandwich generation”. We have grown children, some of whom have left the nest while others linger longer and as well we have aging parents toward whom we have to extend increasing filial care. There is much support and information available to us, however the presence of the aged and their difficulties are rarely addressed in the movies. Only in discussing details of care of aging parents with friends engaged in the same kind of relationship does the potential of humour in such inter-relationships crop up. Of course, there are many heart-rending situations that occur, full of pathos, but there are also some amazingly funny happenings that crop up between aged persons and their caregivers.
The video, “Tatie Danielle” 1990, French, Starring Tsilla Chelton, Isabelle Nanty and Catherine Jacob,
follows the travails of “Tatie Danielle” as she loses her caregiver companion and moves into her nephew’s family home and there wreaks havoc. This is a humorous look at the cliche idea of “the nice little old lady”, who really is an old devil in disguise. The acting is fabulous!
Both these movies are “chick-flicks” for older women