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Seniors Get Down to 'Pump Up the Jam' in The Over the Hill Band

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The Over the Hill Band
Directed by Geoffrey Enthoven
NeoClassics Films
Opens February 25, Village East

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Music uniting the generations is the hoary premise behind Geoffrey Enthoven’s The Over the Hill Band, in which recently widowed Claire (Marilou Mermans) reconnects with her estranged middle-aged son, Sid (Jan van Looveren), via the formation of a most unlikely performing group. The only problem is that while Mom and her two singing partners are partial to the tunes of Jacques Brel, her boorish offspring turns out poor-selling “R & B” albums. (The term in this Belgian context apparently refers to a heavily sexualized mix of hip-hop and electronica.) But come together the pair do, albeit mostly on Sid’s terms. Enthoven and his screenwriters walk a fine line between celebrating the vitality of the elderly and asking us to laugh at their youthful affectations, twice embarrassing his three septuagenarians by forcing them to sing along to Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam.” But even if these “look at those wacky seniors” moments predominate, there’s still a genuine sense of saddened empathy for the marginalized elders—even a (timid) acknowledgment of their still vital libidos. Too bad Claire’s big sex scene is tastefully elided by a fade, while the principal expression of elder geriatric sexuality is the allegedly comic sight of a repressed woman getting off via the vibrations produced by a young stud thumping away on his bass.

 
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