Virile Octogenarian Looks for Love and Lust in Wistful Romance Drama
80 year-old Max Kohn (Otto Tausig) is an Austrian emigre whose world view was substantially shaped by the Holocaust. Still, he overcame the trauma to become a celebrated fiction writer and now lives in Manhattan with Reisele (Rhea Perlman), his very jealous girlfriend of a dozen years.
Even at his advanced age, the accomplished author remains very busy between traveling to speaking engagements and cranking out steamy, semi-autobiographical tales about the sexploits of a geezer suspiciously similar to himself. But the virile octogenarian’s nomadic lifestyle tends to get him into trouble, for his erotic fantasies have a strange way of playing out in a surreal fashion given his active imagination and healthy libido.
An offbeat blending of Max’s wistful myths and actual conquests is the subject of Love Comes Lately, a bittersweet romantic romp written and directed by Jan Schutte. The German director based the picture on three short stories (“Alone,” “The Briefcase” and “Old Love”) by Yiddish Nobel Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Superficially, the scenarios which unfold reflect the perspective of an elderly Jew, since this is precisely Max’s point-of-view. Yet, they are simultaneously somehow universal in nature, since the essence of what he experiences remains commonly human.
Next, he ventures to Hanover, New Hampshire to deliver a lecture only to end up in the arms of an ex-student (Barbara Herhsey) who now teaches Hebrew Literature at Dartmouth. Later, he entertains the advances of his still-grieving, new neighbor (Tovah Feldshuh) who informs Max that he reminds him of her recently-departed husband right before she uses her balcony as a launching pad.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 82 minutes
Studio: Kino International