My Old Lady | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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My Old Lady 

Maggie Smith is ever a delight in this otherwise familiar dysfunctional-family dramedy

click to enlarge My Old Lady Film

The peculiar French real-estate deal known as a viager is the catalyst for Israel Horovitz's dramedy about life, love, forgiveness and, well, fabulous Parisian apartments. It's complicated, but suffice to say that when a dissolute American (Kevin Kline) turns up in Paris to sell the fabulous flat he inherited from his father, he ends up moving in with the current residents, a feisty old lady (Maggie Smith) and her daughter (Kristen Scott Thomas). Over the course of sparring, misunderstandings and several bottles of fairly good wine, secrets are revealed and alliances broken and re-formed. At times, Lady betrays its stage origins (Horovitz wrote and adapted his own play), and fans of similar hothouse parlor dramas won't find much new in the plotting. But Smith can make a gourmet meal out of any corn-dog-filled script, and all her scenes are a delight.

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