‘Thelma’ … there’s no Louise

It’s Thelma. There’s no Louise. Thelma is a solid film debut from Scott Margolin that will win the hearts of AARP members and audiences in general.

June Squibb plays Thelma a mild mannered senior seen at the beginning learning internet protocol from her grandson, himself a grown ass adult who has yet to move out of the family home.

In the opening reel Thelma gets scammed by a phone call that has her believing her beloved grandson has been in an accident and arrested and needs 10K to get out of trouble. You ask who keeps 10K in cash in their home, well that’s Thelma and many people of a certain age who learned early on never to trust banks.

The main strength of Thelma rests on the shoulders of the support players who back Squibb’s award winning performance to the tee including Parkey Posey and Clark Gregg as the parents of the lad and the maternal child.

Malcolm McDowell excels in a small yet significant turn as a slimy creature of the internet; he being the mastermind of the phone scam.

Also along for the ride is Richard Roundtree in his last film role. Roundtree gets taken by Thelma’s scheme for revenge and joins in for two reasons. The guy lives in a rest home defined by boredom, and Thelma boosted his electric three-wheel luxury wheel chair.

Despite some of the more rational motives that drive her revenge some of the behavioral quirks Thelma displays lead you to think she’s reeling into dementia. She acts one way in towards Roundtree when he agrees to help her yet throws him under the bus later on for no logical reason. And that’s either really cool or a damn shame depending on how you like you comedy served.

There’s a great spine to Thelma that deals with how people lose their senses but still hold onto their personality. Laughs are earned even at the expense of logic. That and a solid sense of family unity are at the heart of Thelma, opening in select theaters this weekend.

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