Noah Reid plays Stock Burton, a man who has had enough of modern life and just wants to live in peace in Golden Seasons, a retirement home. He’s already made enough mistakes to last TWO lifetimes and he’s happiest within those four walls, taking numerous pills and talking to his fellow residents. The strange thing is, however, that Stock Burton is a very young man. He’s in his early twenties, and everyone knows that he should face up to the world outside and live his life. His grandfather (Danny Wells) may like the company, and the young woman (Melanie Leishman) who is given the role of dance instructor for a little while may think it lucky that they met, but Stock really needs to work through the problems that he has and start living more like other people his age.
Directed by James Genn, Old Stock works well as a fairly offbeat comedy drama with a third act that offers a couple of surprisingly touching moments. The script by Dane Clark is solid, with some fun one-liners scattered throughout, a selection of great characters and a typically teasing approach to the details of whatever led Stock to his current situation.
The acting helps everything move along nicely, too. Reid is great in the lead role, and strikingly similiar to a young Alan Tudyk (in my opinion), and strikes just the right balance of charm, cheek and inner turmoil. Leishman is delightful as the young woman who sees a bit more to him, Danny Wells is very funny as the grandfather, acting like a silver-haired Casanova while all of the female residents are well warned against him and Corinne Conley is good enough as the grandmother, not living in the home and not willing to just wait around while her husband has his late-life crisis. Meghan Heffern is also very good as, arguably, the most important woman to have ever been in Stock’s life.
The elements of this movie that I liked are also the elements that may turn off many other viewers (a friend of a friend commented that Wes Anderson had a lot to answer for, and he had a good point), but this is one of those movies that I will still recommend to people, and then hope that they warm to it as I did.
DIRECTOR: JAMES GENN
WRITER: DANE CLARK
STARS: NOAH REID, MELANIE LEISHMAN, MEGHAN HEFFERN, JACK DANIEL WELLS, CORINNE CONLEY
RUNTIME: 85 MINS APPROX