Directed By Paul Weitz
What has the director done before?
I was surprised to see Paul Weitz was the director of this movie, having previously directed American Pie and About a Boy. It is quite a stretch for him to deal with the subject of old age and abortion in a film, particularly as old age was the subject of many jokes in American Pie (e.g. Stiflers Mom).Paul Weitz managed to pull this film off, he made Grandma light, insightful and funny to the extent abortion can be funny. Using comedy to talk about a serious subject always spreads the message to an audience that might be resistant to think about female rights and choice. An example of a good film that deals with a similar subject matter in a comedic form is Obvious Child.
Who would watch this?
I think I was the only guy in the cinema, except for the two old guys that were probably forced to go see the movie by their wives. I can see how a film called Grandma could appeal to the older woman. Hopefully, they watched the trailer and realized that the movie is about a lesbian grandmother trying her absolute best to get money for her granddaughter’s abortion. I think this film is aimed mainly at a female audience, but I think everybody should watch it as Grandma is a great story of familial bonds, personal choices and people having each other’s back. I left the cinema feeling like it would be great to have a progressive grandmother like Lily Tomlin to have your back whenever sh*t hits the fan.
What sorts of movies are similar?
The movie that came to mind was Obvious Child , which deals with the subject of an abortion in a similar comedic manner. Female comedians come to mind such as Sarah Silverman who have been outspoken about female rights, although not releasing a movie about it , she has made some funny skits, see video below( viewer discretion is advised):
Other female comedians that came to mind are Lena Dunham, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. All you have to do is watch movies they produce and I am 87% sure you’ll find feminist ideals hidden under great comedy.
Who would win the Oscar?
Lily Tomlin did get nominated for a Golden Globe in the leading actress in comedy category. The cynical part of me thinks that they’re trying to prove Hollywood isn’t ageist. However, Lily Tomlin does give a good performance, she is naturally comedic and is great at delivering perfectly timed comebacks to her granddaughters, pots smoking boyfriend. I would totally want her on my team during a secondary school bicker fest.
Was it actually funny?
Yes Grandma is funny, mostly thanks to Lily Tomlin who comes up with the best one liner comebacks. I caught myself, sniggering here and there, which is a surprise for me. One of the few movies I actually laugh out loud at, is about abortion, maybe I should discuss this in therapy or perhaps not.