Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Queen Bees Review: Retirement Home Mean Girls

Ellen Burstyn	Ellen Burstyn	...	Helen Wilson Jane Curtin	Jane Curtin	...	Janet Poindexter Loretta Devine	Loretta Devine	...	Sally Hanson Ann-Margret	Ann-Margret	...	Margot Clark Christopher Lloyd	Christopher Lloyd	...	Arthur Lane James Caan	James Caan	...	Dan Simpson Alec Mapa	Alec Mapa	...	Lito Santos French Stewart	French Stewart	...	Ken DeNardo Matthew Barnes	Matthew Barnes	...	Peter Crane Ricky Russert	Ricky Russert	...	Pablo Leon Elizabeth Mitchell	Elizabeth Mitchell	...	Laura Crane Matt Lewis	Matt Lewis	...	Larry Marianne Muellerleile	Marianne Muellerleile	...	Anne Rothstein Bob Amaral	Bob Amaral	...	Next Door Neighbor Courtney Gains	Courtney Gains	...	Biker

Release date: June 11, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed By: Michael Lembeck
Written By: Donald Martin (screenplay), Harrison Powell (based on a story by)
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jane Curtin, Loretta Devine, Ann-Margret, Christopher LloydJames Caan

After reluctantly agreeing to move in to a senior's home, a woman encounters a clique of mean-spirited women and an amorous widower.

Linda Boston	...	Woman with Walker #1 (as Linda Beatrice Boston) Peggy Walton-Walker	Peggy Walton-Walker	...	Woman with Walker #2 (as Peggy Walton) Stephanie Dunnam	Stephanie Dunnam	...	Woman with Casserole #1 Andrea Frye	Andrea Frye	...	Woman with Casserole #2 Cindy Hogan	Cindy Hogan	...	Elizabeth Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Perry Ball	Perry Ball	...	Resident (uncredited) Bethany Dixon	Bethany Dixon	...	Restaurant Patron (uncredited) Sharon Frank	Sharon Frank	...	Retirement Home Resident (uncredited) Shaun McMillan	Shaun McMillan	...	Fireman (uncredited) Armani McNulty	Armani McNulty	...	Adrian (uncredited) Sheril Rodgers	Sheril Rodgers	...	Resident (uncredited) Patti Schellhaas	Patti Schellhaas	...	Hair Stylist (uncredited) Chris Ward	Chris Ward	...	Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Queen Bees is basically Mean Girls at a retirement home, with cliques, an out of place newcomer, and a mean, overbearing leader of the pack.  But instead of high school drama, we have a similar environment but in a geriatric setting.  Surprisingly, it seems like a lot of the subject matter is the same despite the older age of the participants: boys, friendship, and keeping your place in the social order.  And Queen Bees does have a cute start and some very interesting personalities.  You will easily recognize the stars in this film as they all have illustrious careers, and seeing them all on the screen is a treat.  But this film lets them play some more out there personalities with very different quirks than you are used to.  And as you would expect from a film set in the silver years, the humor veers more towards an older age demographic, with some funny old people moments.  

But although the film does feel like Mean Girls for an older crowd, the movie does not have the same raw humor that the former film had.  Queen Bees definitely has its moments, but for the most part I just did not find the humor that funny.  Perhaps the film is not for me, but I just did not think the jokes landed.  And for a film about people set in their ways, there are some very abrupt character changes to move the story along.  Janet, the main Queen Bee, is so insanely toxic at the start but goes through a rather abrupt shift partway through.  And she is not alone in the quick change department, as many of the characters seem to change or evolve rather quickly.  And although I liked the characters, I did not love their dialogue due to the writing.  It just did not grab me and make me care enough about their predicament and what happened to them. Overall, this film felt like high school for old people, with all the drama but fewer laughs than I expected.

Queen Bees is retirement home Mean Girls, with all the drama that you would expect from that combination but with an aged sense of humor.

Rent it.

Fred Bernstein	...	producer Rick Jackson	...	executive producer Claudine Marrotte	...	executive producer Harrison Powell	...	producer (as Harrison A. Powell) Dominique Telson	...	producer
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Queen Bees is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on June 11, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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