Documentary

Some Kind of Heaven

The happy doc about the happiest place on Earth for old folks.

The Villages, located in Florida, has been considered, by attribute, to be “The Disney World for Retirees.” The old folks are so happy and content, that they basically forget they are getting old. They have restaurants, stores, pools, karate classes, tennis, and no little kids running around.

The documentary “Some Kind of Heaven” describes the joy and serenity of the retirement community, and allows the residents to reflect on their experiences there. They either have positive aspects of the place or they try to be positive about themselves. The movie is emotional, often funny, and beautifully photographed.

Among the retirees interviewed in the doc, Dennis is looking for a date and resides in a van, while dodging the authorities for a DWI charge. In fact, he’s not even a resident; basically just a squatter.

Reggie becomes a drug addict in order to end his life in the happiest way he can find, while his wife worries about his well-being. He ends up going to court for his uses of cocaine and marijuana. And both he and his wife discuss about their marriage.

And Barbara is struggling to get over the loss of her husband, but decides to get herself out there.

Since “Some Kind of Heaven” was produced by Darren Aronofsky, I was reminded of how an old man saw “mother!,” walked up to me and said: “utter garbage.” I just wanted to bring that up, because that was a brilliant response. I promise you: you will not say the same with this doc. In fact, you’ll be happy to see all these old folks being happy or trying to be happy.

Select moments tend to come and go, but this movie is about making yourself a better person in a happy place. I’m sorry if I keep saying “happy,” but this is what “Some Kind of Heaven” wants to be. Directed by Lance Oppenheim, one of the youngest active contributors to The New York Times, it introduces us to various old folks who share their respective views of the retirement community as well as their own well-beings.

Life has its ups and downs, and people can’t always be happy. They still have issues, but they’re able to thrive and learn to deal with them. The closing sequences prove to us about that notion. My grandmother is still mourning the loss of her husband (my grandfather), but even she knows she has to live her life to the fullest. And as she always says: “Getting old is for sissies.” Take that into consideration, and allow “Some Kind of Heaven” to provide that kind of love without rubbing it in your faces (if you can’t afford to live in The Villages).

Rating: 3.5 out of 4.

Available On Demand Next Week

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