Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, and the director of The Lunchbox? It sounds like a match made in heaven.
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of An Ending) has really found his niche in later-in-life romance films, but Our Souls At Night has an added ingredient of sweetness. The Netflix-distributed drama rekindles the erstwhile onscreen romance between Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in their fourth collaboration together, and it seems like the most charming thing.
The premise is simple enough: two neighbors, Addie (Fonda) and Louis (Redford), have lived next to each other for years decide to give love a chance. But in doing so, they are faced with the ups and downs of jump-starting a relationship at their age, not to mention doing so in a small town and with years of as-yet unidentified baggage dragging behind them.
Overall, the trailer is a talky one, and definitely banks on the chemistry between Redford and Fonda first and foremost. It’s a kick of nostalgia for the days of Barefoot in the Park (which incidentally celebrated its 50th anniversary this year). Both Fonda and Redford have fond memories of working together in the past, with the former reminiscing to the point of cheekiness to Vanity Fair:
“We played that young love, just-getting-married [in Barefoot], and now we play old people love and old people sex.”
No surprises then that the trailer is all them — whether they’re in bed, strolling through town or going on a drive, their chemistry is on full display and it’s certainly heartwarming. That’s not to say the film is without its potential angst. Regardless of what Fonda tells the press: “It’s not about sex, it’s about getting through the night,” Addie exclaims pointedly. We could probably guess at strained relationships with their respective children, played by Matthias Schoenaerts and Judy Greer, which led to their bouts of solitude and loneliness. But Addie proactively seeks Louis out for comfort and companionship. If anyone’s gonna melt some of the ice around his more world-weary heart, it’s her.
Our Souls at Night will premiere on Netflix on September 29.