SXSW Film Reviews

As 54-year-old lovers in an uneasy, reluctant courtship, Jill Clayburgh and Jeffrey Tambor nearly save this picture, but it's a losing battle.

Never Again

D: Eric Schaeffer; with Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Clayburgh, Bill Duke, Sandy Duncan, Michael McKean. (35mm, 90 min.)

Grace is a long-divorced social worker who breaks down in front of her clients after her only daughter leaves for college. Christopher is an exterminator who lunches with his roach-swatting mother and plays mournful jazz piano at night. Never Again chronicles their uneasy, reluctant courtship. As the 54-year-old lovers, Clayburgh and Tambor nearly save the picture. Their warmth and charisma bail them out of several scenes that are drowning in precious eccentricity. But it's a lost cause. The script is a worn, old chestnut about gun-shy lovers, and attempts to make it new and hip revolve mostly around having the post-middle age characters talk, often and crudely, about sex. While this can be amusing, especially when the perennially perky Sandy Duncan is involved, it is more often jarring and not quite true. Oh, there are a few charming moments in the picture. But those, even combined with some buoyant performances and Clayburgh's wonderfully weathered, luminous face, are not enough to the keep Never Again afloat.

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sxsw film, never again, eric schaeffer, jeffrey tambor, jill clayburgh

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