By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Life is not always a bed of roses for three generations of unlikely individuals coming together in The Last Word. Here, this film shows not everyone finds happiness (the lead looks like she has a very lonely life), other folks may well feel stuck in what to do with the rest of their lives because of a dead end job and for the kids, the growing pains are varied. This movie written by Stuart Ross Fink and directed by Mark Pellington explores possible reasons for why some people you meet in life are the way they are.
Octogenarian Harriet Lauler (perfectly played by Shirley MacLaine) is cantankerous and ill-tempered. Just how she survived in a man’s world is because she was willing to burn bridges and fight against the norm (in the 40’s and 50’s) in order to succeed in the business world. Her controlling nature earned her a reputation, and when she realizes she’s at her twilight, something has to change. After reading a death notice in a newspaper, she visits the office and recruits a 20-something writer Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried) to pen her obituary. Her job at the newspaper is not a glorious one, but as a droll obit writer, it pays the bills. Lauler wants to be positively remembered and Sherman has her work cut out for her.
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