January 1, 2018  (Web Review)

Just Getting Started

Broad Green, 94 min., PG-13, DVD: $36.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $44.99, Feb. 27

Reviewer rating: 1.5/4

Writer-director Ron Shelton’s seasonal senior-centric comedy begins with mob wife Delilah (Jane Seymour)—who is under house arrest—spotting a familiar face (Morgan Freeman) on a TV ad for Villa Capri, a luxury Palm Springs retirement resort. Apparently, this man was an FBI informant who assumed the identity of “Duke Driver” in the witness protection program. Seeking revenge, Delilah dispatches her son to bump him off. As Villa Capri’s charming manager, roguish Driver rules the roost, surrounded by hens (Glenne Headly, Elizabeth Ashley, Sheryl Lee Ralph) who are eager to share his nest when he’s not partying with his pals (Joe Pantoliano, George Wallace). Shenanigans commence when prickly newcomer Leo McKay (Tommy Lee Jones) arrives, challenging Driver’s supremacy on all fronts, while flirting with Suzie (Rene Russo), who was dispatched from corporate headquarters to audit the books and fire Driver. Regarding the warm weather at Christmas, Driver explains: “Bethlehem is exactly the same latitude as Southern California, so probably the original Christmas was more like Palm Springs.” Sadly, while the cast has talent to burn, this would-be comedy is a cinematic misfire. Not recommended. (S. Granger)