Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
The Last Word
What is it about this grab-bag of contrivances, this last word in geezer porn, that attracted the likes of Shirley MacLaine? To set the plot in motion, the newspaper that leisure-class dowager Harriett Lauler (MacLaine) uses to blot up the wine spilled during her botched suicide attempt is conveniently open to the death notices. Not wanting to leave her obituary to chance, the control freak — she “put the ‘bitch’ in ‘obituary’” — hires the town necrologist (Amanda Seyfried) to jerry-build a memorialization. Having firmly established his heroine's disesteem, novice screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink attempts a complete character 180 that entails Harriet dragging Seyfried and an adorable at-risk youth (Ann'Jewel Lee), on a road trip to patch things up with Harriet’s estranged daughter (Anne Heche). The occasionally retired Ms. MacLaine is ever quick with a retort, but this is one lead-footed comeback we all could have done without. Mark Pellington directs. 2017.