The Last Laugh is an endearing story about two elderly men trying to regain that fire in their belly.
Grace and Frankie, The Kominsky Method and now The Last Laugh. Why is Netflix so drawn to elderly people who have enjoyed a wealthy life? Is there a target market of rich older people who are sat in their homes ready to relive their experiences? Let’s have some real older life ****, like I, Daniel Blake. Despite my rant, if I even have half the life these elderly characters have I will be happy. They throw money at their older life problems.
Anyway, those were my initial thoughts. The Last Laugh is an easy to watch Netflix film, with two old friends hitting the road to relive their younger careers. Al Hart (Chevy Chase) is a relentless retired talent manager who is slowing down a bit, so his daughter (Kate Micucci) suggests a safer place for him to live: a privileged retirement home, where he can enjoy fine dining and stage entertainment. I didn’t even know these types of homes exist. Mind you, I do live in the outskirts of Manchester.
Al Hart meets an old friend in the home, Buddy Green (Richard Dreyfuss), a comedian that gave up his career after starting a family 50 years prior. Al is clearly irritable with having to merge himself with people his age and suggests to Buddy that he manages him again, to hit the road and land a few gigs and work his way back up. The Last Laugh is about reigniting that flame that you felt did not even exist anymore.
The main strength of the movie is its ability to put the audience in the characters’ shoes. Buddy’s first stand up in the movie is obviously awkward for him, as he adjusts away from his retirement home, and having to speed up his quips in order to deliver the comedy. Al, on the other hand, is searching for further meaning on this trip, while trying to secure marijuana from youths to keep his friend less irritable.
The issue with this comedy is that it does suffer from a common problem that plagues some Netflix titles – repetitiveness, overstretching the premise, and a neutral second act. Despite the 90-minute running time, I was slightly bored by the premise once Buddy starts to gather momentum in his stand up acts.
But hey, if you fancy a soothing story about two elderly men getting their fire back then Netflix’s The Last Laugh will endear you, and provide that smile you are looking for from a Netflix Friday.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.