Young director Stephen Walker threatens to dispel our stereotypes about the geriatric community, which currently accounts for nearly 46% of the total US population.
Playing fully off the most obvious of puns is a rock ‘n roll story about the Young at Heart Chorus whose tagline reads “rock ‘n roll will never die.” If I were taking that literally, I would reference the admittedly entertaining train wreck that is Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. But I digress.
Young @ Heart (yes, the “@” is intentional) documents the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young at Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA. The senior-aged chorus members must overcome health adversities to participate. Their music, encompassing such classic rocker artists as James Brown and Sonic Youth, are a surprise to say the least. Although they have toured Europe and sang for royalty, this account focuses on preparing new songs, not an easy task, for a concert in their hometown, which succeeds in spite of several real heart-breaking events.
As Entertainment Weekly author Lisa Schwarzbaum puts it, “the average age of most rock groups isn't 80”, so right of the bat, you may have your doubts as to the talent factor of these contenders. I suggest they can’t be any worse than that of American Idol’s latest bunch.
Much like Michael Moore’s SiCKo, there is a much larger purpose behind the film than that of sheer entertainment value. Moore attempted to unveil the inner workings of a corrupt US healthcare system in his flick, while Young director Stephen Walker threatens to dispel our stereotypes about the geriatric community, which currently accounts for nearly 46% of the total US population. Using charm and a touch of realism, Walker hopes to enlighten us about what—at times—is a neglected group. Surely, this film will open our eyes, even if only for a brief moment.