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A Touch of Grey

Canadian film tries to tell the truth about middle age

A Touch of Grey
Directed by Sandra Feldman and Ian Mah
(Schlepping Nachos Productions)

Written by Toronto doctor Sandra Feldman, A Touch of Grey just might be the ultimate downer of a chick flick, for middle-aged chicks, that is. If you’re married to a middle-aged woman, you’d probably find it frightening. After 25 years, four high school friends reunite in a Toronto hotel room for a girls’ night, at the behest of Barb, the “together” friend who is actually falling apart.

As the wine and stories flow, the women let down their guard and stop pretending to have the perfect lives. Dialogue like “The universe is expanding and so is my ass” quickly gives way to soul sharing that reveals each woman’s profound disappointment: in motherhood, in marriage, in careers, in aging, in, well, just about everything. Nothing in their lives has turned out like they thought it would.

We meet the stay-at-home mother who brings munchies in Tupperware and keeps duct tape in her bag for emergencies (and the women do use it); the about-to-be divorced friend who cannot comprehend how her pal can stay with a cheating husband; the aging beauty who wants to believe that a 22-year-old guy would sleep with her; and Barb, who wants to ditch her life and create a brand-new drudgery-free one.  

No doubt life can be profoundly disappointing, and middle age may be the first time you share that feeling with some honest friends. Four women alone in a hotel room with wine usually get very honest, very quickly. A Touch of Grey plods straight into the muck. Its letdown is that it doesn’t find much hope there.  

Karen Stiller is a writer in Port Perry, Ont.

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