Philip Roth’s work is best read and not viewed, because an interpretation of it to the silver screen just doesn’t cut it. And as big a fan of Roth’s that I am, ‘The Dying Animal’ (on which this movie is based) wasn’t particularly one of my favorites, so I didn’t care much for the storyline anyway, but if you wish to appreciate some good acting in lovely lighting then you won’t be disappointed.
Ben Kingsley is tight through and through (including his abs!), as is P. Cruz (including all *her* lovely body parts!), but the problem for me is that the story isn’t tight enough. A love based on the sudden realization of one’s mortality doesn’t strike me as altogether sincere, and the inability to commit to a relationship (and damn the 30+ year age difference) makes me wonder if what he feels for her is really love or the love of the notion of holding on to the beauty of youth. Unfortunately, it seems as though Consuela was also in love more with her beautiful body than with the professor she claims to have loved. And Kepesh’s views on marriage and fidelity as aired out to his colleagues and son gives one the feeling that this too might just be a passing fancy.
On the whole, this isn’t a great love story; isn’t even a great story, but its a well-made movie, and the acting is very good.