Cinema Sundays: My Picks of Great Flicks: PLAYING THE GAME

Andy Griffith, Tony Award-nominated and Emmy A...

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Last night, my husband and I watched “PLAYING THE GAME”, a 2009 romantic comedy starring Andy Griffith as an 80+ year-old grandpa who has recently lost his beloved wife and is now living in an assisted-living facilityPaul Campbell plays his concerned grandson, a player of women who wants his grandfather to start enjoying life again.  When Paul meets Maria Sokoloff, his player days are numbered and when Andy meets Doris Roberts (of Everybody Loves Raymond fame), a resident of his senior home and grandmother of Maria, he finds a new reason to live again.

Some people may be offended by the sexual scenes (you never really “see” anything) and by the blatant sexual desires of some of the “older” folks (and some may be sad to see Andy Griffith, icon of morality in the Mayberry RFD series, taking Viagra and enjoying the sexual favors of one of the older women at the home for seniors)…but I think it was a realistic depiction of how life is for some elderly people…defined in their youth by sexuality, they feel if they can’t “perform”, then life is not worth living.

Andy Griffith does provide some wonderful advice to his grandson…advice we might all benefit from:

  • Defining a “real” companion, he says, “You’ll know when you meet her and you’ll know when you lose her.”
  • Asking his grandson about his relationship with his love interest, he says, “Are you a player or were you just playing.”
  • Telling his grandson to stop his step-by-step procedure that gets women to fall for him, he says, “To win the game of love, you have to stop playing games with women.”

If you are looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy and won’t be turned off by seeing some elderly people looking forward to sexual pursuits, PLAYING THE GAME is for you.

 The movie also highlighted how we need to pursue our dreams and goals and not get sidetracked by just “working for the money”.  The grandson had put aside his dream of working in the health-care field and was earning a LOT of money, selling cars in his father’s dealership…but he was very unhappy and hated what he was doing.  When he becomes involved with Maria, he realizes that he needs to quit his job and go back to helping people.   How many of us put our dreams aside because of money…either because we don’t think we have enough for our needs or we just think we need more?

This past Thursday, I met with two 4th grade students who wanted to “job shadow” an author…the advice I gave them was to follow their dream and never give up on what they believed in…hard work and persistence do translate into success!  During my years as a teacher, daycare provider and mom, I accumulated lots of ideas and experience…and I was able to use those when I finally wrote my book last year for parents and teachers of preschoolers.  If you are interested in picking up a copy of this unique resource of picture book suggestions and easy fun-filled educational activities, please visit my website at www.positiveparentalparticipation.com where you can take advantage of the half-price sale and enter to win a GREAT PRIZE for your preschooler.

I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for Make-A-Meal Monday.  Based on today’s movie pick, our theme for the week is Companionship.