Percy Adlon's film YOUNGER & YOUNGER strives to satirize both contemporary American culture and German acculturization in the strange and magical environment of Hollywood and its obsession with fame, glamour, and beauty.
German immigrant Jonathan Younger (Donald Sutherland) owns a rental storage facility with his American wife Penelope (Lolita Davidovich) in a suburb of Hollywood. Jonathan socializes, flirts with women, plays an organ located above the office, and flees on a motorcycle whenever business or
personal conflicts raise their head. When famous European actress ZigZag Lilian (Sally Kellerman) arrives with her daughter Melodie (Julie Delpy) to rent space, Younger manages to introduce himself to the girl.
His wife, meanwhile, haggard and miserable, runs the office and pops pills for a bad heart. Following an argument, Younger takes an old acquaintance of hers to his room above the office, probably to punish his wife, but when she overhears them she dies.
Their son Winston (Brendan Fraser) returns from business training abroad. He is fond of his father but quickly loses all illusions about him when he learns his father knows nothing of management, his mother has always run the business, and his father's infidelity precipitated her death. He is
comforted by his growing friendship with Melodie.
Younger begins to imagine he sees his wife, each time looking younger and prettier. He becomes increasingly nostalgic and guilty and eventually drives his motorcycle off a road with an image of his young wife in his mind. Winston and Melodie take over the business, marry, and have a child.
Director Adlon enjoys indulging in the eccentricity of seemingly ordinary people. He satirizes the sentimentality invested in the images people have of themselves and others and the relationships they form with things. Jonathan copes with his wife's death by imagining her youth and their early
love. And he does not actually play the organ--it plays ballads automatically--though he permits others, including his son, to believe he does.
Much of the film is shot in soft light and colors, warm pastels well-suited to the languid mood of the film. However, while Adlon's drama is often visually pleasing, the story and humor are regrettably dull.
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: Percy Adlon's film YOUNGER & YOUNGER strives to satirize both contemporary American culture and German acculturization in the strange and magical environment of Hollywood and its obsession with fame, glamour, and beauty. German immigrant Jonathan Younger… (more)