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Interesting character study
on February 18, 2010
Two elderly men are widowed on the same night in the same hospital. Pompous lecher Reggie (Albert Finney) and meek milkman Southgate (Tom Courtenay) would seem to have little in common, yet they become roommates at the suggestion of a social worker who thinks the situation will ease their grief. Reggie, however, starts bossing Southgate around and treating him like a servant while beginning a dodgy romance with a younger woman.
This well-intentioned "odd couple"-type drama almost hits a home run with top-notch acting from the two stars, but the script glosses over or eliminates much needed information and action. The supposed bond between the men never materializes and we don't know why Southgate allows himself to be bullied and treated like hired help. Courtenay is by far the more sympathetic of the two, giving a poignant performance as a truly grieving man with a family secret. Finney's blustery old windbag is quite rude and unlikable, but he does a good job playing him.
I think this could have been better with another half hour to develop the relationship between the two men. Still, this simple movie is quite watchable thanks to the talent and charisma of Finney and Courtenay.