GRANDMA is a highly entertaining comedy-drama about a cynical, outspoken grandmother—she’s a lesbian poet who’s grieving the loss of her long time partner.
Tomlin is terrific as this cranky, sarcastic character who does her best to help a granddaughter in crisis in a movie that seems aimed at older people who are dismayed by the bad choices young people sometimes make.
Sage: I need 600 dollars, 630. Elle: For what?
Sage: I’m pregnant.
It’s not what Lily Tomlin as Elle was expecting to hear from her granddaughter, Sage, played by Julia Garner.
Problem is Elle is temporarily broke. She’s just paid all her debts, cut up her credit cards and turned them in to a wind chime.
So once it’s established that Sage really doesn’t want to have this baby, the two of them go looking for money, first to the irresponsible father.
Elle (to Sage’s boyfriend): Why didn’t you use a condom or for humanity’s sake, get a vasectomy?
Boyfriend: Who is this?
Sage: My grandma.
Boyfriend: Listen Grandma, you better watch yourself.
Elle: Give us the money.
Boyfriend: Get out of my home you crazy old….(she hits him with his hockey stick)
They leave with 50 dollars.
Elle: You know I like your boyfriend. He’s special, really charismatic.
The embarrassed Sage and the determined Elle visit several of Elle’s old friends, asking for money.
Male Friend: You must not have a lot of friends. Female Friend: Now you need me and I’m broke.
And every stop makes for a good scene.
But finally, they have to approach the one person they were hoping to avoid: Sage’s mother who of course is Elle’s daughter, Judy, played by Marcia Gay Harden. Judy gives them a hard time before she agrees to help.
Judy: Did I not tell you that he was a loser? a flat out loser. Sage: Yes, you told me and you’re right.
Sage (to Elle): Do you think I’m a slut?
Elle: No, no, and I don’t want you using that word again.
GRANDMA is ultimately a sweet movie about an acerbic old lady who’s a lot softer than she appears.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.