There aren't a lot of geriatric sex comedies out there, but Desperately Seeking Susan director Susan Seidelman's low-wattage, sleepily paced new comedy-drama Boynton Beach Club feels awfully familiar all the same. Maybe that's because so much of it seems indebted to teen sex comedies, a much more populous subgenre from the other end of the age bracket. From sexual embarrassment to exploring uncharted carnal waters to male and female bonding, Boynton Beach Club explores much of the same territory as the American Pies of the world, even if its characters are more concerned with having sex for the first time since the death of a beloved partner than losing their virginity. Boynton even has an analog to the beloved nervous-adolescent-buying-condom teen-flick staple in a scene where oldster Len Cariou buys Viagra from an indiscreet pharmacist while busybodies cluck their disapproval.
An almost oppressively gentle romantic comedy for the Golden Girls set, Boynton centers on a Florida bereavement club where sexy seniors go to mourn deceased past loves and look for new paramours. Foxy Dyan Cannon hooks up with suspiciously secretive Flashdance super-hunk Michael Nouri, rigorously decent widower Len Cariou explores senior sexuality with the deceptive Sally Kellerman, and grieving widow Brenda Vacarro helps work through her rage issues with the help of loyal pal Cannon.
Boynton Beach Club flirts with serious issues like grief, mortality, and post-menopausal sex, but a tepid script (by the director, Florence Seidelman, David Cramer, and Shelly Gitlow) and a gratingly precious score keep pushing it toward sitcom safeness. It's refreshing to see a film that so directly addresses the issues and concerns of a vast, overlooked demographic, but it'd be much more satisfying if Boynton did more than just affably skate along the surface. With 60 rapidly becoming the new 40, it seems inevitable that there'll be many more comedies on the horizon about sixty- and seventysomethings living, loving, and learning valuable life lessons. Hopefully, they'll be ballsier and less self-consciously adorable.