There’s something exciting — groundbreaking even — about the idea of 60-year-old Sharon Stone playing not a grandmother, not even a mother, but a single, unmarried woman in the kind of role usually given to 24-year-olds. (Though Stone’s character, Senna, is supposed to be 46 at the beginning of the film, my enthusiasm still stands.) An aspiring fashion designer, Senna has just lost her job as a retail buyer and is a bit of a mess, but she’s independent, fashionable, and witty; even when her mother (Ellen Burstyn) drops not-so-subtle hints about settling down, the film never endorses the attitude that it’s too late in life for her. That’s refreshing, especially since Hollywood’s ageist, sexist system has little to offer for women of a certain age.
Senna says she doesn’t believe in marriage and dates around aimlessly until she meets handsome lawyer Adam (Tony Goldwyn) in a typical rom-com meet-cute: He’s accidentally rude to her, not knowing she’s the woman he’s being set up with. A charming and promising start gets derailed by the structure of the film, which continually jumps from one year to the next, always on Senna’s birthday, as different characters give talking head interviews about their own birthday wishes and fulfillments. The jump-skip format renders the chemistry between Senna and Adam so incoherent that by the time you watch them have their big first kiss, then break up, then get back together again, it plays less like a real movie and instead one of those memory slideshows your iPhone photo album generates for you.
All I Wish
Written and directed by Susan Walter
Universal Pictures and Paladin
Opens March 30
Available on demand
Click here to sign up for our weekly film and TV newsletter.