I have a vision. It takes place over Christmas break. I am sitting at my parents’ house, overeating, wrapping presents, and biding my time until we embark on a short road trip to visit the next in a long line of relatives. Dad and I have finished watching the latest episode of Gotham, and now HBO is on in the background. Finding Your Feet just started. In comes Mom, a mite wobbly from imbibing some Franzia. She sees the image of senior citizens dancing cheekily and stops her latest loop of laundry-to-bedroom-to-laundry-to-kitchen, entranced by the feel-good nature of what’s on screen.
My dad sees a “dumb old people movie.” I see “a harmless romp featuring beloved Harry Potter alums.” But Mom sees something even better. She sees her own reflection. She sees an idealized version of herself. She sees Finding Your Feet and thinks “I may be in my sixties, but it’s not too late for me! I, too can find joy in life even if I’m past my prime! I, too can find my feet. I, too can DANCE!!”
And that’s why Finding Your Feet is a lot of fun, even if it’s not particularly my flavor. At a time when it’s becoming very clear of how important it is for audiences to be represented on screen, how can I harsh on a comedy that grants inclusion to the retirement set? I have no inclination to come down hard on a film with a message of “you might be old, you might be mortal, but YOU CAN STILL DANCE, MOM.”
Sandra (Imelda Staunton) and her husband are celebrating his retirement from the royal police force. They’re a well-off couple and they hold some kind of English title. I don’t understand the ins and outs of it, but Sandra gets to be called “Lady.” Anywho, during the big celebration Sandra walks in on her husband and her best friend a-smoochin’ and now poor Sandra is on her own. She takes up residence with her decidedly more bohemian sister, Bif (Celia Imrie). Soon, Sandra has found a new lease on life. She’s in a dance class, she’s pursuing a new romance with a man named Charlie (Timothy Spall and his considerable jowls), and she’s finally living for herself rather than at the whims of misguided propriety.
While the film does fall victim to a litany of tropes inherent to “MOMedies” it’s such a pleasurable piece of light-hearted fare that there’s no value in pointing any out. You and I, fellow film nerd, care deeply about overuse of such things, but Mom doesn’t care. Mom just wants to forget about Mom things for 90 minutes, and Finding Your Feet is a joyous, frequently funny way for her to do it.
Finding Your Feet opens today in Philly area theaters.
Author: Dan Scully
Dan Scully is a film buff and humorist living in a tiny apartment in Philadelphia. He hosts the podcast I Like to Movie Movie and is the proud father to twin cactuses named Riggs & Murtaugh. Also, he doesn’t really mind when Batman kills people. Follow him on Twitter and Letterboxd.