Romance films

23 Walks review – dog lovers follow the path of romance | Romance movies

PEnsioner Dave (played by Dave Johns, of I, Daniel Blake) is a retired psychiatric nurse, living alone near Hampstead Heath, London, where he regularly walks his sweet, elderly German Shepherd Tillie. One day, Dave meets a woman walking her Yorkshire terrier Henry, and she berates him for not keeping Tillie on a leash. However, on another walk, he exchanges more friendly words with Henry’s owner, who he eventually learns to be a divorcee named Fern (Alison Steadman). Over time and distance traveled in sensitive shoes, the two develop a friendship that takes on a romantic turn.

Writer-director Paul Morrison’s soft-spoken portrayal of love between a couple in their later years tends to be gentle and feels slightly stuffy at times. Johns and Steadman don’t have as much chemistry, or at least not as much as each with their canine companion. Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see a movie portraying late romance with such honesty and kindness, especially in how it recognizes all the baggage that older people bring to relationships, like ex-spouses, opinionated adult children, housing issues and performance anxiety in bed. . There are also a few well-observed touches, especially regarding the fleeting friendships dog walkers make and the diverse London population.

23 Promenades is in cinemas from September 25.

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