Saturday At The Movies: Grandma


This was a week of movies with the grandkids and me. With two of my grandsons, I went to see M. Night Shyamalan’s awesome film, The Visit, which I posted about here. Last night I went to see Grandma with my adult granddaughter; two different genres, both about grandparents. Was Grandma as good as The Visit? Find out after the jump.


I’ve always loved Lily Tomlin ever since she played Ernestine on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.” As a former long-distance operator, my first job out of high school, I actually worked with someone who may have been the model that Tomlin based her Ernestine on. When Allie, the oldest of the nine grandchildren, said, “Granny, I want to see this with you.” I could not refuse.


Grandma is a comedy drama written, produced and directed by Paul Weitz who is known for such works as About a Boy, Cirque du Freak:The Vampire’s Assistant and, many more. This film is one of Lily Tomlin’s few leading roles since co-starring with Bette Midler in Big Business. It also stars Julia Garner as Sage, Marcia Gay Harden as Sage’s mother, Judy Greer and Sam Elliott.


There is a special bond between a grandmother and grandchildren. I know this bond exists between me and my grandkids. They will come to me with problems or secrets before getting up the courage to confide in their parents. It’s not that they don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents, but a grandmother serves as a buffer to the world. If the news doesn’t kill granny, then it’s safe to tell mom and dad.


Tomlin’s Ellie, a woman coping with the loss of her life long female partner, has just broken up with her newest lover when her granddaughter Sage knocks on her door. Sage has a problem. She needs money and, she needs it now. Sage is pregnant and Ellie and Sage must raise the money for the abortion.

This is one hell of a touchy subject to star in, but Lily Tomlin and Julia Garner handle this explosive topic with finesse. Nothing is sugarcoated as the grandmother and granddaughter learn about each other and the choices they’ve made. The film is really about the strength of family bonds during hard life choices.


I really enjoyed this film and, I would recommend it, especially because of Lily Tomlin’s and Julia Garner’s performance. The subject of abortion is explosive and, both sides of the fence have decent arguments and reasons for their beliefs. Raised a Catholic, I now consider myself anti-religion and pro-God. I’m at the age where I look at life more clearly and less theatrically. I think a woman has a right to her own body, but because I love children, I also think everyone deserves a chance to live. How do two opposing sides meet in the middle?


Maybe, if sex education wasn’t such a taboo in many schools and, if birth control was made more available and less expensive, there would be no need for abortions. If religious organizations are really against abortion, they should offer to help finance the raising of the children they want these women to bear; that means from birth through college. If religious organizations are really against abortion, then they should outlaw WAR, which I consider to be a form of retroactive abortion and much more horrendous than an abortion.

This past week was spent watching movies with my grandchildren. The boys are horror fanatics like their granny and we enjoyed a great night out together thanks to M. Night Shyamalan’s, The Visit. My granddaughter and I enjoyed a special night watching and discussing Paul Weitz’s Grandma. My only complaint is that Sam Elliott didn’t have more time on the screen. Sometimes a movie is a way to open up honest and thoughtful conversations between the elders of this country and the youth who will lead the world of tomorrow.


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