You Know Your’re Old when you get really excited that there’s an 11:10am showing of the movie you want to see!

I zipped into Stamford this morning to the Majestic on Summer Street to see Florence Foster Jenkins, the new movie with Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (from the Big Bang Theory).

Meryl Streep, left. The real FFJ, right.

The movie is based on a true story of Florence Foster, born to a wealthy family from Pennsylvania.

From her life story at Wikipedia: 

Nascina Florence Foster was born July 19, 1868, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Dorrance Foster (1836–1909), an attorney and scion of a wealthy land-owning Pennsylvania family, and Mary Jane Foster (née Hoagland; 1851–1930). Her one sibling, a younger sister named Lillian, died at the age of 8 in 1883.

Foster said she first became aware of her lifelong passion for public performance when she was seven years old. A talented pianist, she performed in her youth at society functions as “Little Miss Foster”, and gave a recital at the White House during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes. After graduating from high school she expressed a desire to study music in Europe. When her father refused to grant his permission—or the necessary funds—she eloped with Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins (1852–1917) to Philadelphia, where they married in 1885. The following year, after learning that she had contracted syphilis from her husband, she terminated their relationship and reportedly never spoke of him again. Years later, Florence asserted that a divorce decree had been granted on March 24, 1902, although no documentation of that proceeding has ever surfaced. She retained the Jenkins surname for the remainder of her life.

The movie was “meh”, so I’m in the category of the 71% rating by the audience at Rotten Tomatoes. I’m surprised 87% of the critics liked it.

I wanted to badly to love it but the first half hour was nothing – it just hung up on the screen, making me wait and wait for something to actually happen!

The premise, briefly – FFJ is passionate about music and is a patron of all things music. Here dream is to sing….at Carnegie Hall.

FFJ is married in name only to St. Clair Bayfield, who dotes on her, is devoted to her, and in the end, makes her happy by telling her that her voice was extraordinary.

Meryl Streep plays FFJ well. High Grant is good too but the pianist character played by Simon Helberg, Cosmé McMoon, stole the entire movie.

Bottom line, the movie was slow, lacked enough depth to really be a movie and while there were good moments of laughs and tears, I give it a C-. I looked at my phone to see how much time was left, that’s how slow it was.

What DID intrigue me was the preview for the movie Sully, the Sully Sullenberg story of the US Air pilot who landed on the Hudson. I’ll go see that. Tom Hanks as Sully.

There was a preview for Inferno, the third in the Dan Brown books-to-movies, Hanks reprises his role of Robert Langdon. The first two movies RUINED the books so count me out for Inferno.

The other preview – lord, garbage – Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in a sequel that is lost on me because I never saw the original.

No cartoons. But the popcorn was good and buying a senior ticket for $9.50 was better than paying full fare. There were only about ten of us in the theater, all over 65.

Time to change clothes to go back outside to weed, even in this god-awful heat. Happy Friday!!

NEW: (first, read Cos comment) CosHarbour saw movie at Museum of Moving Image on Thursday with Hugh Grant there to answer questions. Herewith photo.

Cos, tell us what he was asked and what others around you thought of the movie.


8 thoughts on “You Know Your’re Old when you get really excited that there’s an 11:10am showing of the movie you want to see!

    1. That’s the tough thing about reviewing a movie. Don’t go by what I say. See it for yourself. I can’t tell you how many times people have said “you’ll love this movie” and I’ve hated it, and vice-versa. It’s entertaining at least, just very slow. Go, then tell me what you think.

  1. Had to have the accompaniment whilst reading your review. Had a feeling it was going to be a turkey with good ol’ Meryl in the title role (as an aside, who can believe Hugh Grant as anything?). From the trailer my guess was that they would cast her as a sympathetic figure that we rally ’round because even though her talent was nil, her dream was so great that it could conquer the naysayage by those mean –bullies of the day (haven’t we all had a dream to do something that we can’t do?). ♫ Ha ha ha ha ha ♫

    1. Meryl played FFJ too drool, too much in character the entire movie, as if she was playing a caricature of FFJ, not the real woman. There was no change in her tone, little change in her facial expressions either. Actually, Hugh plays his character better than Meryl plays FFJ – they aged Grant enough to make him look like a reasonable sort of guy who would be FFJ ‘husband’. They never sleep together and Grant’s character has a long-time girlfriend, but we are led to believe there is some love there, or maybe it’s deep devotion to a woman he feels sorry for and whose money buys him the lifestyle he likes.

      I’ve been reading up on FFJ since seeing the movie and I think your theory is correct – that her dream was so great, it carried her to Carnegie Hall.

      Spoiler alert : if you plan to see it, skip this paragraph:
      In the end, what really kills her is the review by Earl Wilson, then with the NY Post. He was brutal. Her husband and pianist tried to hide all the Post reviews from her but she got a hold of one and was devastated so I do think FFJ thought she was talented and also thought that the audience loved her. God bless her if that’s true. They tell you at the end of the movie that the single most requested archive from Carnegie Hall is her performance and the record she made was the biggest seller for that record studio.

  2. Saw the florence movie at sold out thursday night paramount screening at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria. It was fully subscribed (300+peeps@$18-25)since afterwards there was a q?answer session with Hugh Grant.

    Like you said, not the best movie…..

    There’s a better Frenchy movie, Marguerite, that is on Netf that is better.


  3. FYI, on Tuesday nights at the Bowtie theatre in Greenwich you can get away with paying $6.50….closer and cheaper!

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