The Leisure Seeker

Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren head westbound and down.

The Leisure Seeker is the first English-language film by Human Capital and Like Crazy’s Paolo Virzì, and while it’s about very American characters in very American settings, it feels like what it is: a film about America as seen by an outsider. That’s not a bad thing — this week’s Oh Lucy! nails it — but for want of a better word, The Leisure Seeker is almost too leisurely in its meandering to find a tone. Ella (the very British Helen Mirren doing a very American Southern accent) and John (Donald Sutherland) are an elderly married couple who decide to go on one last road trip, driving their RV from Massachusetts to Florida.

Along the way, they bicker, old wounds are opened, they talk at strangers about things only they themselves are interested in, and deal with the physical indignities of aging such as memory loss and misbehaving bladders. The Leisure Seeker is okay, but never feels like it has a point other than hanging out with Sutherland and Mirren, which isn’t quite enough. And after Have a Nice Day, The Leisure Seeker is another film by a foreign director that uses the 2016 election as a timestamp, being explicitly set during Trump’s campaign. Our dumb country will be paying for that for a long, long time. 

Rated R. 
Opens Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.


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