That’s Life! (1986) Review


Harvey and Gillian Fairchild are not having the best of times. With Harvey well and truly freaking out because of his 60th birthday becoming depressed and stressed. His wife Gillian is awaiting results of a throat biopsy, something he does not know anything about.


The couple share three now grown children who each have issues going on as well. All throwing everything into a crazy few days. Add in a fortune teller, ditsy neighbour and a priest, Harvey has more than met his match as he struggles through these days on many occasions claiming that he does not want to be alive anymore.

That is pretty much the plot as he almost has an affair and confidants in a priest who just happens to be someone he went to school with. Although I will applaud that church scene and making him read certain verses from the bible. I guess it was meant to show that he really was in such a bad place, but with him being so self involved he fails to notice that Gillian is going through a very tough time as well.

Awaiting results of a throat biopsy and wondering if it is going to be cancer or something else very serious. This was very tough to watch but I guess believable in terms of women trying to manage everything else to keep a brave face for family and friends. Not wanting to admit that they feel weak and are worried about anything.

The children being around seems to make Harvey even worse and quite frankly truly horrible. Especially about becoming a grandfather and not wanting to be known as Grandpa, that scene really was just well nasty. I think that is why I did not really enjoy the film that much as I did not sympathise with Harvey at all, I just felt he was being very pathetic towards those around him.

Although I guess I should give it the slight credit of addressing these issues back in 1986, something that I always feel is a more recent type of thing when it comes to film and media. But the way the depression is approached just isn’t in the best manner.

I hadn’t even heard of this film before coming across it on Amazon Prime and seeing Julie Andrews and Jack Lemmon both in the same film I really did feel like it was something I much watch. I adore both of them and thought it would be a film that I could enjoy, unfortunately that was not to be the case. Certainly a different type of role for Andrews, but did they really have to make her say hun so much? It actually got to the point where I was wondering how often she actually said hun to one of the children or her husband.

The film is very much a family affair in real life with Blake Edwards directing wife Julie Andrews. His daughter Jennifer taking on the part of Megan. Along with Julie’s daughter Emma Walton Hamilton as Kate. It doesn’t stop their though as Jack Lemmon’s son Chris plays Josh. Certainly trying to create that family feel with real father/son, mother/daughter and stepmother/stepdaughter relationships straight onto the screen.

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