Before I begin: Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures for sponsoring this post. All opinions are, as always, all mine, and mine alone.
Fact: We’re all growing older, whether we like it or not.
Fiction: Growing older doesn’t mean having to grow up.
Translation: Make the most of the time you have. Let go. Let loose. Live a little. Have fun!
A brand-new Warner Bros. movie, “Going in Style,” starring Oscar winners Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine, hits theaters on April 7. Joining them is also Ann-Margret (I loved her as Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie), Matt Dillon, Joey King and Christopher Lloyd. I can’t wait to see this movie, and have a good laugh. There’s not enough of that going on these days. Just watching the trailer is enough to get me started – have a look at the official trailer below, and I’m sure you’ll agree.
The movie traces the antics of these three lifelong buddies who, after their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, decide together to buck their straight-and-narrow lifestyle. Determined to take back what’s rightfully theirs and come through for their loved ones, they risk it all by seeing revenge on the very bank that absconded with their precious money, and plan a daring bank heist.
Age is no excuse for these guys to shuck adventure and fun.
Nor is it for me…although knocking off a bank isn’t exactly what I have in mind.
But I will say that even though I have reached this so-called midlife, I still have fun, and plan to continue having fun wherever I can find it.
Never mind that my older son was (momentarily) horrified by that fact when he visited me just last week. Before I drove him to the station so he could board the train back to Manhattan, we drove to my local market so he could purchase some items to bring back with him. The scenario brought me back to the days when I used to drive my sons around (and around…and around…) and sing along with the radio in the car.
“Mom! Stop!” They’d shriek. “Everyone can see you!” They were mortified. Imagine having a mom that sang in the car! How embarrassing! What would people say?
And on it would go…day after day…. year after year. I’d ignore them, continue on with my antics, and they’d be equally humiliated; eventually realizing that they couldn’t turn the tables and play the parent, trying to tell someone else what to do.
Once they got their own licenses and didn’t have to driven around any longer by a parent – a singing one, at that – they could be free from that kind of embarrassment.
This time – though it was a good 26 years later – my enthusiastic singing and bouncing in my seat garnered a (momentarily) similar response.
Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” came on the radio. “I love this song!” I shouted.
And then I let it loose.
“Mom! Stop!” Jonathan shrieked- this time, his voice lacking the hi-toned pitch of youth. After a moment, he started to laugh, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. He grabbed his iPhone (don’t worry; we were stopped at a red light) and proceeded to capture it on video, (somehow) insert the words “Oy Vey,” then share it with his finance. Instead of feeling humiliated, I believe he was feeling quite amused. (I’m not sure if he chose any other social channels to post it on, so here’s a spoiler alert if it somehow happens to pop into your Facebook feed.)
I think he gets it now. Growing older doesn’t mean growing up. In fact, in my opinion, it frees you up to let go and have more fun, and make the most out of the time you have. My version is to dance, sing and act goofy if I feel like it. Why not?
For the three lifelong friends in “Going in Style,” growing older doesn’t stop them from having their own fun adventures, and taking back not only their youth but everything else that is rightfully theirs. For Ann-Margaret, who plays Alan Arkin’s love interest, growing older “doesn’t mean that you’re dead,” she recently told the New York Times.
I don’t know about you…but I still want to laugh. I want to sing in the car. I want to not let age stop me from having fun.
Maybe I’ll even invite my sons along to see the movie with me, so they can see that older people can act goofy and loose and that you don’t need to be young to have fun with your friends. Perhaps they’ll even laugh along with me, and leave their humiliation behind, once again.