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Movie Review - Old Goats - The Exciting Lives of Three Elderly Men (2012)

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                                                                 Old Goat - Wikimedia


This humorous story is a fictional piece, really, but the actors play themselves with an exaggerated profile which is not true to the real-life character of the three men portrayed in this film.  The director of the film is a very young man, Taylor Guterson, who is the son of David Guterson, the author of the renowned novel “Snow Falling on Cedars.”  He has done a remarkable job of describing the life of the male who has led a full life, is perhaps in his eighties at least, and has not given up the idea of having excitement and fulfillment in his final years.

The three elderly men are Britt, Bob, and Dave.  They show great courage as they use their own names in this movie, and might give the wrong impression to folks who may know them on an acquaintance level.


Elderly Man

                                                             Elderly Man - Wikimedia

A Meeting Place

The men meet at Corey’s Café on a regular basis.  The Café closes at 7 p.m. but the owner keeps it open after hours to accommodate several elderly men in the neighborhood who just like to get together to talk.  It is easy to pick up nearby conversations about knee replacements, bad backs, and insomnia.

Britt Crosley has recently retired and has lived alone on his boat for 30 years.  He has never married, and is content with his single life.  He likes to read on the boat and listen to music.  He has worked all his life at a gas station and repair shop.  He announced to the crowd at Corey’s that he had made a decision to take a long boat trip and would take along anyone who wished to join him.  He promised Bob Burkholder that Bob could use his truck while he was away.  Within days, however, he decided not to take the trip.  He even considered getting his old job back, but his boss declined the offer.


Elderly Man

                                                            Elderly Man - Wikimedia

Seeking a Partner

Britt mentioned to his friend Dave VanderWal that he liked their friend Bob Burkholder’s lifestyle.  Bob even had a woman in his life.  Dave invited Britt to come to a committee meeting at his house where he would meet several of the women.  Britt agreed to come, and met a woman there.  He told her he had just retired from the oil business where he had been very successful.  The woman was impressed.  Unfortunately, Britt fell in the hot tub and had to wear some of Dave’s clothes for the remainder of the party.  Dave told him a few days later that he had set up another meeting with the lady for Britt at a local restaurant.  Britt was not happy about the arrangement; he admitted to Dave that he had lied about certain things and wasn’t happy about meeting with the woman again.

Age is no Barrier

Bob Burkholder showed up at the party also.  Bob is approaching ninety years of age and has always led an adventurous life.  He served in World War II, was a paratrooper, and a bush pilot.  He has just had his memoirs published - a book entitled “Skirting the Edge.”  Bob has a lot of energy.  He goes to choir practice once a week, and has a girlfriend named Carol.  Dave is kind enough to drive Bob around to wherever he needs to go.  Bob admits that he has slept with 50 or 60 women in his lifetime, but is not proud of that fact.  When Britt’s first attempt at meeting a woman through Dave had failed, Bob told Britt he should get himself a cellphone and a computer.  He could meet women online if he would set up an honest profile and wait for the responses.  That was how Bob met Carol.  Britt took his advice.

Dave VanderWal retired six months ago and has a wife Crystal.  He likes to play golf and to spend his time down at Corey’s Café talking to the boys.  Dave and Crystal talked about buying a place in Palm Springs, Florida where they go for six months each year anyway, but Dave has hedged on the promise because he likes his life as it is.  Crystal comes across as being bossy, and is not happy with Dave spending so much time with the boys while she stays home.


Senior Citizen at a Computer

                                               Senior Citizen at a Computer - Wikimedia

Online Dating

Dave helped Britt set up his computer and his profile for Seniorconnections.com.  He and Bob took a lot of pictures of Britt on his boat to put on his website.  Bob has also asked Dave to read his manuscript of “Skirting the Edge,” and to give him his frank opinion.

Britt had six responses on the day he set up his profile on Seniorconnections.com.  He picked out one respondent named Cynthia and called her on the phone, at the urging of Bob and Dave.  Dave let Britt shower at his house in preparation for his date because Britt had a plumbing problem on the boat.  Crystal was not happy about that intrusion.

On his way to pick up Cynthia, Britt had to give a ride to Bob, so Cynthia sat on Bob’s lap.  She asked Bob to take a picture of her and Britt in his car.  Britt and Cynthia enjoyed each other’s company, and Britt asked if she would like to see his boat the next day.  Cynthia said yes.  She loved Britt’s boat, and gave him a hug and said he deserved better than that.  She showed him her place which was quite beautiful and homey.  Britt and Cynthia talked on the phone every day.


Old People Playing Cards

                                                       Old People Playing Cards - Wikimedia

A Friendship Begins

Dave invited Britt and Cynthia to come and have dinner with him and Crystal.  They stopped on the way to pick up a bottle of wine.  Crystal was excited that they had bought a place in Palm Beach and they were going there for six months.  They also planned a trip to the Baja Peninsula in California.  Dave showed Britt a new shotgun he had just purchased for $2000.  He said they should go duck hunting soon.

Britt helped Cynthia with her yard work and cleaning out the gutters.  She suggested that he sell his boat and come and live with her.  He had to think it over.  In the meantime, Dave, Bob, and Britt went duck hunting.  They waited several hours in the cold, having brought decoys to attract the ducks, but went home without having had any luck.

Bob’s Book is Published

At Corey’s Café one evening, Bob Burkholder gave a talk to a crowd of people there on his newly published memoir “Skirting the Edge.”  Dave emailed them that he and Crystal had bought a condo in Palm Springs and were going to Paris instead of the Baja Peninsula.  It was Crystal’s idea.  They would not be home until Spring.  Britt started packing up a few boxes to bring over to Cynthia’s.  Bob mentioned that he had met a new lady.



                                                            Grandparents - Wikimedia

Truth is Different from Fiction

Much of the film “Old Goats” was fiction.  Some of it was true.  In reality, Britt Crosley is a happily married man with four grown children.  He had retired from a career as a Certified Public Account, having lived with his family for 62 years in Alaska, where he enjoyed hunting, downhill skiing, and curling.  He loves to read, both non-fiction and fiction, and is an amateur photographer.

Bob Burkholder did, indeed, live an adventurous life. He really had been a paratrooper and bush pilot.  It is also true that he published his memoir “Skirting the Edge.”  He was married and he and his wife raised seven children in Bainbridge Island, Washington.  Sadly, Bob passed away in 2013.

Dave VanderWal is an Aeronautical Engineer from Michigan.  He retired from Boeing after a career of 36 years.  He and his wife Bianca now enjoy their hobbies and their friends, and like to spend time on their boat.  Dave has acted in short features and training videos.  "Old Goats" is his first feature-length film.

Kudos to this wonderful cast.  We are all enriched by watching these men showing the world that life isn't over when you are 80 or 90.  Enjoyment knows no age.


Vital Involvement in Old Age
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  1. "Old Goats - About the Film." Old Goats. 17/01/2016. 17/01/2016 <Web >

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