In what may be a movie first, “Queen Bees”, directed by Michael Lembeck, features an elderly person using a cell phone without any difficulty. The senior in question is Helen, played by Ellen Burstyn, an independent woman who calls the senior living center who continues to send her brochures. Emphatically, she tells the rep that she is not moving out of her house, which is nice but feels a bit empty.
The problem is, she keeps locking herself away from home. This habit, and Helen’s isolation as a widow, preoccupies her grandson Peter (Matthew Barnes) and possibly a mercenary concern for his daughter Laura (Elizabeth Mitchell). When a kitchen fire requires repairs, Helen is forced to move into this living center – on which she repeatedly insists, it will be a temporary base.
Here she meets the “Queen Bees” from the film’s title, a trio of compelling women, led by Janet (Jane Curtin), Sally (Loretta Devine) and Margot (Ann-Margret), who run the game room and cafeteria. from the community. When Sally tries to convince Helen to curry favor with these power holders, Helen protests that it is not a high school. Sally replies that it is worse; at ‘high school, we graduate. Here, we die.
You don’t need to bother to make a comparison of “Mean Girls” like the dialogue in the film itself does. “Queen Bees” is a completely conventional dramatic comedy right down to its sweet Walter Murphy score. (Yes, the “One-Fifth of Beethoven” guy.) That said, he doesn’t spoil his impeccable cast, which also includes Christopher Lloyd and a remarkably James Caan acting as Helen’s love interest. Each of these pillars brings more than charisma to their roles, and when the writing itself displays a certain snap (which admittedly isn’t that common), performers bite into it.
Rated PG-13 for language, senior topics. Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or purchase on Apple TV, Vudu and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.