Think of all you derive out of being alive ["Young at Heart"]
Stand aside Mick Jagger. Tina Turner, you've got a ways to go, too.
The average age of the singers in the "Young at Heart" chorus is over 80. Their rockin' and rollin' tours have been happening for more than two decades. Yes, the cast of singers has changed over the years. Indeed, members of this inspiring troupe died during the several months it took to make this documentary.
Don't fret about sadness in this film though. Its cup runneth over with affirmation of life. Watching these clearly old people embrace and tackle the songs will fill you with gladness, warmth, and respect. Watching them perform for inmates at a prison and for a packed house at the Northampton Academy of Music in Massachusetts will show you why this show must go on.
Chorus director Bob Cilman hand picks songs like James Brown's "I Feel Good," The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive," Bob Dylan's "Forever Young," The Ramones' "I Want to Be Sedated," Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia," The Pointer Sisters' "Yes I Can Can." Hearing the titles provides an inkling, and the film shows how the songs run deeper than shallow gimmickry. Wherever you sit on the rock and roll timeline, you will enjoy what is made of these songs.
MTV-like snippets inject a somewhat overproduced counterpoint to the plainly endearing interviews and practice sessions, but the affect throughout is, well, lively. The word "lively" has never rung truer than it does in this film. The vitality on screen is more than inspiring.
Being in this chorus is no cakewalk. Learning the words and rhythms of the songs is a daunting challenge for these folks. It's all a dynamic process that boosts their day to day lives.