Hey folks, Valkor here. And the CES train is near an end. This next piece was given to me on the show floor and I was told "think of The Commitments… but in Dutch" (Flemish). Okay. I didn't know what I was getting into, but when I popped in "The Over The Hill Band" (aka Meijes) into my DVD player – I laughed, I wept, and then I cheered.
The Over the Hill Band stars Merilou Mermans who plays "Claire", a woman in her 70's who lost her husband in an auto accident, just prior he was having a heart attack. During the funeral her son Sid/Alexander (Jan Van Looveren), who is a failed musician, is reminded that Claire, along with her friends Magda (Lea Couzin) and Lutgard (Lut Tomsin) used to be in a music group called "The Sisters of Love". This generates a spark in Claire as she realizes she can rekindle the magic of music with her old group, plus help her son who is struggling with bills. Though Sid's tastes skates on the hiphop/raunchy side, he somehow finds a way to blend the old with the new, creating the group "The Over The Hill Band". Claire and co don't fully accept it and don't quite get it, but eventually they come to terms with it and can really jam. But with Claire's failing health and the group's internal complications, can they even make it to the competition that will bring them into the limelight?
It's simple story, but a touching tale filled with drama and lots of laughs and it'll touch you in all the right spots from your funny bone to your heart strings. But I'm jumping ahead of myself, on with my review.
First I wanna give props to Merilou Mermans who is able to pull off an ailing older woman and still be… sexy. I'm serious! I was a bit… turned on. But overall she gave a beautiful performance as Claire. Kudos goes to Jan Van Looveren as Sid. I honestly thought I'd hate him, but I thought he was pretty cool. And I really wanted to hear the song "My Morning Stiffness". But I must give credit to the rest of the cast as well, who really rounded out a great performance. Second, the film has a lot of laughs. Just to name a few:
- - Lut gettin a bit "heated" over a brotha playin bass.
- - One of Sid's songs "My Morning Stiffness". Yea we don't get to hear it, but it's pretty funny when you know the guy.
- - The girls singing "Pump up the Jam"
- - Magda… nuff said. What the movie. She is like Golden Girl's Blanche and Rose rolled into one.
And it just goes on. I know it's not a comedy, but the laughs just don't stop. Finally I gotta give props to the music – awesome, especially when the "Over The Hill Gang" got their groove. The sound is great and who says if you're 70 plus you still can't rock out?
The pacing can be a bit slow in some areas. I think that's a bit nitpicky, but it really takes you out.
Lut shakin her tailfeathers..... Funny... but why!
If you see one international film this year, make it "The Over The Hill Band". I left out a lot of detail and rightfully so as this is one that should be enjoyed and you will enjoy it from start to its heartbreaking finish. And yes you will stand and applaud. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give "The Over The Hill Band" 5 stars and it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.