Do you remember the film Shirley Valentine? It came out in 1989 and starred Pauline Collins as a bored, middle-aged British housewife who has an adventure in Greece? Well, The Time of Their Lives appears to be trying to be a geriatric version of that same idea, but despite the stellar cast, it never quite gets off the ground.
Joan Collins stars as Helen Shelley, a former Hollywood star who's long been forgotten and is now living in a retirment home. On a day trip to the seaside, bored grandmother (Pauline Collins) somehow accidentally gets on the coach and helen somehow ropes hr into taking the ferry trip to France with her to attend an old flame's funeral.
Of course, comic shenanigans ensue, of the kind you would not expect from those of the Collinses' vintage (Joan is now 83) – swearing like troopers, stealing cars, indulging in illicit affairs with famous Italian artists (Franco Nero, who proudly bares all in a skinny dipping scene) and smoking dope. The film feels at times as though it is trying to be a geriatric Thelma & Louise, but it lacks any real punch or verve. There is genuine chemistry between our two leads, but director and writer Roger Goldby does not really take advantage of it. The film's biggest flaw is its lacklustre script; a cast of this calibre deserves so much better. It's fair to say that this low-budget affair probably won't give you the time of your life.