It’s frightening, but once 3 Geezers! gets going, it’s an entirely watchable terrible movie.
The setup, which director Michelle Schumacher doesn’t even stick with, is J.K. Simmons playing an unveiled analogue of himself, stuck doing a movie about old people written by his wife’s little brother. Michelle Schumacher is Simmons’s wife. I’m assuming writer Randle Schumacher is some relation to her–and in-law of some kind to Simmons. When you’ve got the lead telling you the movie’s going to be bad… where’s it going to go.
And for a while it doesn’t go anywhere. Tony Cummings is pretty bad as the retirement community events coordinator and Geezers sticks with him way too long at the open. Schumacher’s actually got a really good central cast–for the titular Geezers–but she makes the audience wait. And subjects them instead to the worst material (Simmons is really bad at aping it as himself).
The Geezers are Basil Hoffman, Lou Beatty Jr. and Will Bonaiuto. Hoffman’s got a long filmography, so does Beatty. It’s Bonaiuto’s only credit and he’s sometimes the best of the three. Beatty’s good, but his role’s easy (he’s the funny black guy). Hoffman’s great. He and Beatty have some great back and firths.
Maybe if Simmons seemed sincere, it’d be better. Maybe if Schumacher decided on a style (sometimes Simmons’s character films for research, sometimes not).
The humor’s offensive retirement home potty humor (and it’s often very funny). The cast does deserve more reward for their efforts though.
Edited and directed by Michelle Schumacher; screenplay by Randle Schumacher, Eric Radzan and Tony Cummings, based on a story by Randle Schumacher, Radzan and Michelle Schumacher; director of photography, Peter Villani; music by Randle Schumacher and Rick Amezcua; produced by Randle Schumacher, Radzan and Michelle Schumacher.
Starring J.K. Simmons (J Kimball), Basil Hoffman (Victor), Lou Beatty Jr. (Bernard), Will Bonaiuto (Rex), Beverly Polcyn (Ruth), Pamela Dunlap (Mary) and Courtenay Taylor (Lisa).