There are worse companions to have on a road trip down south than Helen MIrren and Donald Sutherland. Unfortunately their state in The Leisure Seeker finds them repeating themselves, alternatively sweet and silly or frustrated and dotty.
Named for the decades old Winnebago the couple uses to embark on their sudden excursion, The Leisure Seeker is messy and cartoonish, finding Elle (Mirren) complaining a lot while John (Sutherland) regularly forgetting things. Sometimes it’s names, and sometimes it’s experiences, and often it’s his current setting.
However, this isn’t supposed to be a somber trip or film for that matter. At least that’s what the dialogue, music, and attempts at jokes would have you believe. Because the nagging from her and forgetfulness of him are often played for laughs. So too are various encounters along the way, like when John talks the ear of a waitress, or Elle points a guy at some hapless robbers. And since they are attempts at jokes – they’re generally cliched and weak – any drama or consequence takes a back seat.
Even some of the plot turns weaken the bond between the couple. What’s more, their two adult children back at home have a half-hearted story where one worries about their departure and the other says they will be fine. It’s entirely incidental.
For a road trip movie, The Leisure Seeker should be far more beautiful and scenic, and certainly more lively. Our final destination can’t come soon enough.