Review by Dan Skip Allen
I've noticed lately that there has been a subgenre of rom-coms and romances involving senior citizens. Sometimes there are comedies and other dramas. My Sailor, My Love is one such kind of movie. This particular romantic drama takes place in Ireland and focuses on an old sea captain and a housekeeper — an unlikely duo to be featured as the stars of their own love story.
Sea captain Howard (James Cosmos, of Game of Thrones fame) is an old curmudgeon who lives by himself. He's a bit messy, like most bachelors tend to be. His daughter Grace (Catherine Walker) looks after him, but she's also married and is a nurse, so she's pretty busy in her own right. To solve the problem of her father being alone, she hires a housekeeper to look after him. Little does she know that her father and the housekeeper will become romantically linked.
Grace has her own life, with its own difficulties. Director Klaus Haro uses her life as a framing device in the form of a therapy group. She explains during the group meeting how difficult things are — specifically, how dealing with her father has brought back residual traumas from her past. Now he's moved on and she can't handle it, and her life is falling apart with every day that goes by.
The housekeeper Annie (Brid Brennan) consoles the old man. He has issues about his space, but eventually comes around to the equally old lady. She has her own family, but they all hit it off, and he treats them like his own, especially the two little grandchildren. Of course, this doesn't sit well with his daughter. Due to his health issues, this entire situation gets a bit complicated between all of them.
The director sets most of the film inside the old man's home, which is mostly brownish and dark on the inside. Sometimes the film ventures outdoors, where characters are driving in cars, sitting by the sea, or walking on the beach. That's when the cinematography comes into full view. The Irish countryside, the sea, and distant hills are vividly realized on screen. This country is just gorgeous in any context — in the film or otherwise. The backdrop is like a character in the movie, like The Banshees of Inisherin in that regard.
This film has many layers to it, and they eventually lead to some sad stuff. There are residual resentments about how one character is treated, while other characters are comforted. It's a rough ending compared to how this movie started. It flips the switch on what the filmmakers wanted the viewers to think from the beginning to the end. This was quite interesting because I didn't see it coming. That made for a good plot device.
My Sailor, My Love wasn't exactly what I was expecting, and that's a good thing. Whereas others might be upset at the sad outcome of this story, I expected something different. I was hoping for a happy ending, but happy endings aren't always a realistic conclusion. This movie had a much more normal story that can be relatable to the greater audience. The director, Haro, and writers changed things up and made for a better film. Throw in some beautiful cinematography of the gorgeous Irish countryside, and you have an interesting romance.
My Sailor, My Love is now in theaters.