The Last Word

The Last Word

A sugary showcase for Shirley


© Bleecker Street

A control-freak retired businesswoman pushing 80 (Shirley MacLaine, 82), sensing a certain disingenuousness in the local newspaper’s obituary section, decides to have her obit written before she passes. To this end she contacts and eventually forms a life-changing relationship with the paper’s young obit writer (Amanda Seyfried), yada yada.

For a while, it’s fun watching MacLaine do her patented crusty battle-axe bit. No one does it better. But at about the halfway mark, this cross-generational dramedy goes off the rails and morphs into the prefab, manipulative weepie you were afraid it would be when you went in.

Overwritten, overlong, treacly, lazy and not remotely believable. (108 min)