New DVDS/Blu-rays New DVDS/Blu-rays

5 FLIGHTS UP

   

For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, July 10, 2015

“5 Flights Up” (PG-13). When you think about it, Diane Keaton has had onscreen romances with some of the biggest stars of all time, including Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Richard Gere, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Steve Martin, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson … and, of course, Woody Allen.

That’s quite a list.

So why not add Morgan Freeman? Casting Keaton and Freeman as longtime marrieds in a domestic comedy may seem offbeat, but as it plays out it feels quite natural, and they demonstrate a rare warmth and casual comic chemistry that make this light domestic tale a real treat.

The plot is a simple one: Keaton and Freeman begin to worry that the five-flight walk-up they have occupied in New York for some 40 years may become a problem in their dotage as it has no elevator. So they put the apartment on the market and allow all kinds of goofball eccentrics to parade through their home, accompanied by a real-estate agent (Cynthia Nixon) that just happens to be a pushy relative.

   

Korey Jackson, Claire van der Boom as young Freeman, Keaton

There’s Woody Allen vibe to “5 Flights Up,” whether intended or by coincidence, and having Keaton onboard only exacerbates that feeling. But this isn’t a complaint. It’s hard to imagine that Allen would have handled the premise much better. The film brims with wit and Freeman shines with a wry running commentary.

All of this would be delightful by itself but the film is unfortunately overstuffed with subplots, ranging from their dog falling ill to a possible terrorist attack blaring on TVs in every household to flashbacks about how Freeman and Keaton met and married, etc. None of this is bad; it’s just too much.

   

       Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, '5 Flights Up'

But it must be said that Freeman and Keaton dominate the proceedings and they are an absolute delight, funny and warm and fully engaging, and their banter is sweet and funny.

“5 Flights Up” is on Blu-ray, DVD and streaming sites now, and comes with a strong recommendation from this corner.