I can’t say that I’ve seen all of Diane Keaton‘s movies but I’ve seen at least most of the ones she’s made in the last 10 or 15 years, and I think that it’s true, what they say in the ads, she’s not getting older, she’s getting better. I’ve enjoyed every movie of hers that I’ve seen, and generally, one could say they’re not exciting or profound, they’re just feel-good, fun movies to watch. 5 Flights Up is no exception. Morgan Freeman is another actor whose movies I usually enjoy and to see the two of them together in this movie is really great.
The whole movie takes place over a single weekend with many interesting things coming into play, just as they might in real life. Ruth, a former teacher, and Alex, an artist with an amazing, bright studio in what could be a 2nd bedroom, have decided the stairs in their Brooklyn walk-up are getting to be too much for them and for their small dog, Rosemary. Despite the fact that they love their apartment, the neighbourhood, and especially their view, they decide it’s time to go. Ruth’s niece (played by Cynthia Nixon) is a real estate agent, advising them on how to give their apartment appeal for the open house she has organized for the next morning. She raises the blinds to let in more light, puts a cinnamon potpourri on the stove to make it more welcoming, tells Alex to clean up the “junk” in his studio (filled with totally awesome art, by the way), and tells them not to worry about the abandoned van on the bridge that’s tying up traffic and causing a commotion on the TV.
The owner of the van is deemed to be a terrorist in the ensuing media frenzy, Rosemary slips a disc in her back and needs several thousand dollars worth of surgery, lots of weirdos come to schmooze through the apartment (including an odd lady who likes to try out beds and her precocious but very likeable daughter played by Sterling Jerins), and some tender flashbacks that make you wonder if Ruth and Alex are making the right decision. They decide to take matters into their own hands and look for a new place on their own.
There are a lot of neat themes in this movie. There’s interracial marriage, the value of pets, the dog-eat-dog real estate market, how the elderly get pushed aside in our modern society, and the importance of precious memories and a view. This is not a movie that will likely change your life; what it is, is a movie that will give you some things to think about and send you off with a smile on your face and the feeling that it was an hour and a half well spent. You can catch it on Netflix! * * * * *