‘Elsa & Fred’ Stars Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer
A grumpy old man and a dotty old lady share a moment of late-life bliss in the geriatric romantic comedy “Elsa & Fred.” Because that fun couple are played by Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine, the movie’s too-cute concept yields more rewards than you might reasonably expect.
The movie, directed by Michael Radford (“Il Postino”) from a screenplay he wrote with Anna Pavignano, is an English-language adaptation of a reasonably well-regarded Argentine film. It is also a valentine to Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” Elsa has a poster from that cinematic landmark on her wall. In her hyperactive fantasy life, her ultimate dream is to re-enact the scene in which Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni splash about in the Trevi Fountain in Rome.