Sometimes, there are movies that allow us to gain some perspective on life. What perspective? I do not know, but this is one of those movies.
Young@Heart follows the Young at Heart chorus as they prepare and learn new songs for a concert in their home town. What makes this particular chorus so interesting is that the average age of the performers is 81. What makes these performers so awesome is that they learn songs that would normally not be associated with the likes of an octogenarian. So, you’ve got people with canes and oxygen tanks belting out tunes from James Brown and Sonic Youth. This alone makes the movie highly enjoyable.
I have never been able to really imagine the realities of being old, and I don’t mean 50 or 60 or 70. That’s not old, or maybe it is. I’m only 22, so who am I to say? I try to tell myself that I will enjoy being old, that I will be infinitely wise and carefree and deeply satisfied with the life I have lived. There is also the distinct possibility that I will be immobile, senile, and deeply regretful of the live I have lived. Or there could be some middle ground—senile but happy, mobile but sad, mobile and immensely intelligent, but alone in the world. Well, either way, it was truly wonderful to see the Young at Heart chorus living it up.
A few of the performances are likely to make you tear up, and many of the rehearsals are likely to send you into chuckling fits. While there is a great deal of humor in this documentary of geriatric proportions, there are certainly many tragedies that befall the group. The performance of Coldplay’s “Fix You” and Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” are sure to make you melt, while you probably wont be able to keep yourself from smiling during “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and James Brown’s “I Got You.”