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Lovely, Still

A love story between two seniors is buried under too much schmaltz and contrivance

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A Christmas snowglobe features prominently in Nik Fackler's dramedy, and ultimately that's what this movie reminded me of: an artificial, overly sentimental story set in a bubble. Robert (Martin Landau) is a lonely old supermarket worker whose only "friend" may be his young boss (Adam Scott). But then a vivacious age-appropriate woman named Mary (Ellen Burstyn) moves in across the street. Despite her daughter's (Elizabeth Banks) misgivings, Mary pursues Robert with the energy of a teen-ager. Soon, the two are waltzing in the snow, cooing over carolers and sledding. (This story is set during Christmas week, and is simply packed with syrupy holiday music and convenient snow flurries.) I'm in favor of everybody finding love, but this tale is marred by mawkishness and a certain plot twist that frankly keeps everybody from behaving like normal people. Fackler's heart is in the right place -- the movie aims to be affirming -- but the story and characters can't escape the restrictive, hackneyed world he's placed them in. Starts Fri., Oct. 29. Oaks

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