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Some Kind of Heaven review – a deadpan eye on Florida’s retirees

·1-min read

“You don’t come here to die, you come here to live!” cheers one of the residents of the Villages, in Florida. The postcard-perfect community of some 120,000 old folks has been called Disneyland for retirees, and is the subject of Lance Oppenheim’s spry, occasionally surreal documentary. The film hones in on four idiosyncratic characters: grumpy widow Barbara, recreational drug enthusiast Reggie and his long-suffering wife Anne, and gold-digger Dennis, who lives in his van and works the Villages’ bars and swimming pools hoping to pick up a moneyed mistress.

A scene in which Oppenheim gathers a room full of smiling women all called Elaine is straight out of a David Lynch movie. It’d be easy to mistake the director’s deadpan observation for mocking, but the space he holds for the darker aspects of his characters’ individual stories helps to puncture any cultivated cutesyness.

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