It never fails! It feels like every damn thing I watch has some sort of New Jersey reference. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but sometimes it feels pretty surreal. Apologies in advance, but Wyoming doesn’t get that same kind of noise.
Anyway, you ever see one of those, holy shit we’re getting old so we need to stop acting like a bunch of stuffy old men and go out and have a good time movies? It’s a very specific genre. Last Vegas is that type of movie, but set in Vegas. Recently I watched it – Miss Sexy Armpit’s choice.
Last Vegas is the Justice League of retiree-aged actors. It’s got DeNiro, NJ-born Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. All of these guys enhance the movie in their own way. Many times, throwing a bunch of famous actors into the mix is a recipe for disaster, but in this case, it worked.
A group of old friends from Brooklyn, now in their 60s, get the gang back together. It’s not just to throw back a few beers at their favorite old watering hole either. The setup centers around the group’s last single friend, Billy (Douglas), who proposes to his girlfriend half his age and wants his old buddies from the neighborhood to be there for his wedding…in Vegas.
It turns out getting everybody together isn’t easy. These guys are leading their own lives and settled in to their respective homes in various locations. One of them, Archie (Morgan Freeman), has been long retired from the Air Force and lives with his family in Englewood, NJ. He feels like he’s living in a prison, overprotected by his family as if he was a toddler. Archie has to sneak out the window of his ground floor bedroom to meet his friends before heading to the airport. He also conjures up a story about being on a church retreat to stave off his son from becoming overly concerned. Ultimately, he arrives in Vegas armed with $15,000 from his pension fund ready to play blackjack.
In Sam’s (Kevin Kline) case, he’s lost his sex drive. After learning of his upcoming trip to Vegas, his wife gives him a Viagra and a condom and basically tells him to do as he pleases while he’s on his trip in hopes of reviving his libido. So he’s got a free pass. Meanwhile, Paddy (DeNiro), is grumpy and bitter after losing his wife years earlier. He can’t be bothered by much of anything, but with some coercion from Archie, he grudgingly agrees to join them on the trip.
Some old bad blood resurfaces. There’s a bachelor party. A new love interest comes into play. There’s a few dramatic moments which made the film take a serious turn, but overall it didn’t get bogged down in them too much. Some of the films best moments include Morgan Freeman’s jibber-jabber after a slew of Red Bull and vodkas, and while on his mission to use his prophylactic device, Sam (Kevin Kline), mistakenly hits on a transvestite Madonna impersonator from New Jersey.
Sam is scoping out the ladies at a bar when he noticed a possible hottie from behind. Without even seeing her face, and the fact that he was told not to wear his glasses to appear younger, he started coming on to this seemingly attractive woman. All he saw was the back of a head with ’80s hair. Once he realized who he was actually hitting on his reaction was priceless:
The actor who plays Turtle in Entourage, Jerry Ferrara, basically reprises his Turtle role again here, but he was more endearing when he was chubbier. Also look out for hottie April Billingsley, not sure if she’s related to Peter Billingsley, but hey, it’s Hollywood, the nepotism capital of the world.
I wouldn’t say I adored Last Vegas, by any stretch, but it was a mildly fun time and it was exactly what it claimed to be. Miss Sexy Armpit wanted to see it, and I definitely prefer something like this over some dumb romantic comedy with Zac Efron or Tad Hamilton. It was more than worth it for me considering all these great Jersey moments. Even in the wrap up Atlantic City is mentioned as an option while rattling off places they could go next year. There’s not much of a shot that a sequel in Atlantic City will go into production, but if that happened, I’d be way more interested in seeing that now that I’m familiar with the characters. If any of this sounds appealing to you, give it a go. I rented it from Redbox, but I’m sure we’re not too far away from it premiering on HBO.