REVIEW From the onset, it seems as though a documentary about a choir of seniors behaving badly would be a comical one-trick pony. But because of the involvement of a very savvy choral director and the endlessly unpredictable antics of high-spirited octogenarians, Young@Heart is a sweet, wonderful, harrowing laugh riot from start to finish. Seriously, I didn't laugh this hard at Superbad. Director Stephen Walker also narrates; he's a British expat whose dry delivery is well timed and well chosen. The singers are instantly lovable, and they do nothing but outfox their physical maladies they've earned their age and let nothing restrain their appetites for living. The inevitable tragedies that befall a few subjects make for painful plot twists, though certain changes of context make this a unique meditation on age; the videos tapped by Walker to illustrate the unconventional songs this choir sings are clever cues. "I Wanna Be Sedated," anthem of disaffection and recreational drug use, is set in a convalescent home. Meanwhile, other more melancholic meditations (like the choir's version of Talking Heads' "On the Road to Nowhere" placed in the doc just after the passing of a central member) seem pointed at the possible conclusion that the subjects of Young@Heart grasp their existential crises, and simply choose not to be bothered.
YOUNG@HEART opens Fri/18 in Bay Area theaters.
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