At a Q&A after the film, young up–and–coming director Brett Haley spoke about the inspiration for his second feature film, saying: “I’m not interested in making films about myself...I like to look up at the screen and relate to someone completely different than me.” This older demographic romantic comedy helps to do exactly that.
Carol (Blythe Danner) has become comfortable in older years—spending her days playing golf, meeting up with friends to chat over bridge, and topping the day off with a glass of wine every night, all alongside her beloved dog Hazel. When Hazel’s old age gets the best of him, Carol is jolted out of her daily routine because it's lonesome without her companion. From here, we’re taken into the unexpected turns in Carol’s life as she rediscovers her self in these later years. The film has some sensitive moments as Carol examines her life and the dark emotions that accompany the memories of unfulfilled pursuits. We’re provided with some comic relief by supporting characters like Rhea Perlman- especially when she smokes out the ladies at the rest home with her medical marijuana stash. We see a new side of Carol when she meets the new golf club hottie Bill (Sam Elliott) who she finally connects with and opens up to after 20 years of being a widow.
Featuring a predominantly senior citizen cast, the film is an incredible role for Blythe Danner, not only as an older actress but also as a strong female character who is content with herself. The film values both her romantic relationship with Bill and a platonic friendship with the younger pool boy, which helps to keep the film's lighthearted spirit in line. The film seems a little bit too perfect, with every loose end tied up neatly at the end. Yet the ending feels earned for these charming characters.