By Shirley Hawkins
Last Vegas centers around four old friends—the Flatbush Four from Brooklyn—who have been pals for over 60 years. During the course of the movie, the foursome find themselves grappling with such themes as friendship, rivalry, mortality, love and loss—with hilarious and poignant results.
Feeling his encroaching mortality, seventy-one-year-old lifelong bachelor Michael Douglas (Billy Gershon) proposes to his 31-year-old fiancé Lisa (Bre Blair) right in the middle of his old friend and mentor’s funeral. When she accepts his proposal, he’s ecstatic!
Billy breaks the good news to his old friends, Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline). But he must also grapple with the ire of his old friend-turned-nemesis Paddy (Robert De Niro) who has an old score to settle.
The fireworks begin when the Flatbush Four reunite in Las Vegas for Billy’s weekend bachelor party, and hilarity ensues. With flashing lights, flirty women, and even a gag where the guys pose as members of the mob, the four waste no time kicking up their heels and having the time of their lives.
During their stay, the four meet Mary Steenburgen (Diana) who delivers a wonderful performance as a witty and wise and lounge singer. Steenburgen fans will be pleasantly surprised to discover that Steenburgen possesses a mesmerizing and sultry singing voice that really knows its way around the old standards. (Watch out, Barbra Streisand!)
It isn’t long before Steenburgen sparks a competition between Douglas and DeNiro who jockey each other for her attention.
It is a joy to watch this fine ensemble cast–Academy Award winners all–work magic in this film, and despite a thin script, these veteran thespians effortlessly fill the screen with humor, grace, and pathos. Released by CBS Films and directed by Jon Turtletaub, go see Last Vegas—it’s worth the ticket!