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Life and love's a beach

Mature love is in the spotlight at 'Boynton Beach Club,' part of a Newport Beach Film Festival series.

August 01, 2006|By Amanda Pennington

It's never too late to fall in love ? or so the Orange County Film Society and the Newport Beach Film Festival seem to be saying with an advanced screening Wednesday of "Boynton Beach Club" at the Lido Regency Theater.

The movie is the fourth screening as part of the festival's Spotlight Series, which focuses on showing movies that didn't make it to April's Newport Beach Film Festival.

"These are films that we were very interested in earlier during the time when we program our film festival, and for one reason or another couldn't fit in our schedule, or the release schedule for the movie," said Gregg Schwenk, chief operating officer of the festival and president of the society. "Sometimes it's difficult to lock that in when we're looking at only 10 days in April."

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The comedy follows four residents of an "active adult" community as their lives intersect after meeting at a bereavement group in the Florida town. As they re-enter the dating scene, the four characters ? Lois (Dyan Cannon), Harry (Joseph Bologna), Maryland (Brenda Vaccaro), Sandy (Sally Kellerman) and Jack (Len Cariou) ? find the rules have changed since the last time they dated.

"Love is a must, no matter what age," Cannon said in a telephone interview.

The three-time Academy Award nominee will join the film's director Susan Seidelman, also an Academy Award-nominee, at the screening for a question-and-answer session after the movie. Audience members will be able to pick her brain about the movie and her thoughts on love after the half-century mark.

"I think it lets audiences into the inside of it," she said. "It lets them know a little bit more about the actor's head and the director's head."

The star has attended two screenings of the movie recently and said she gets all kinds of questions, including invitations to dinner, and questions about her exercise regimen and her future projects.

"The festival has been active in our community for seven years, and we realized that people had a great interest in seeing unique films and having the opportunity to hopefully meet people who put the films together," Schwenk said.

Seidelman, whose resume includes "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "Sex in the City," explores the burgeoning relationships of Baby Boomers, straying away from trends in the movie industry that follow young love.

"It was such a joy to make this film because it rings so true of what people are going through in different phases of their life," Cannon said. "This phase had been conveniently or inconveniently left out of moviemaking, and I think audiences are just going to love it."

The film festival and society strive to choose movies that are different and relevant to the community, and with the Baby Boomer generation entering retirement, the movie's premise becomes more important, Schwenk said.

"We really try and program something for everyone, and we feel this film is a very clear reflection in life and love in the over-60 sect ? with a great deal of professionalism and comedy," Schwenk said. "It's a wonderful cast, smartly directed, and it's also very fun and inspiring for all ages."

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