Jerry Lewis plays a retired pianist whose wife passes away. After her death he discovers that she may have cheated on him early in their 60+ year marriage. He confronts his relationships with his grown son and granddaughter while he tries to unravel the mystery his wife left behind.
MAX ROSE is the story of a man (Jerry Lewis) who loses his wife of more than 60 years and then questions if she had been having an affair. He learns to navigate his relationships with his adult son (Kevin Pollak) and granddaughter (Kerry Bishe) while searching for answers.
I’m going to start with the good: the music, acting, and technical aspects of the movie are well done. There is no doubt that MAX ROSE was well conceived and put together. There were a couple of moments that were so beautifully done that they particularly stood out. The first was during a flashback when Max and his wife, Eva (Claire Bloom) are in bed together talking about their combined ages. They feel very real together and it’s a relationship that I wanted to learn more about, aside from the flashbacks that were included. The second time is at an assisted living facility where one of the men talks about how his wife has been gone for more than 20 years and yet he still misses her.
That said, there were some gaps in the story that went unanswered. This came across as more of an extended character study than anything else. There is a difference between a movie that leaves ou with questions because of gaps in the story versus contemplation about the themes.
What I didn’t love about MAX ROSE has to do more with preference than anything else. Ironically, it’s exactly what I discussed last week in SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU, an indie that didn’t fit the traditional “indie vibe” because it was so upbeat. MAX ROSE fits that exact “indie” category where it may be a realistic look at life, but it’s not a pleasant one.
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