"Dull Politically Correct Message Movie"
5 FLIGHTS UP is a drama about an elderly married couple of different races whose search for a new apartment becomes connected to hysteria about the search for a Muslim truck driver falsely accused of being a potential terrorist. 5 FLIGHTS UP takes what could have been a nice story about growing old together and turns it into a politically correct story attacking Americans for being “Islamophobic” and prejudiced.
Alex and Ruth Carver have lived out their marriage against waves of pressure. From their interracial relationship, to his art career, and through infertility, they’ve faced life with a resolve that would make the stoutest liberal proud.
The story opens with the Carvers just wanting to relocate to a new apartment, preferably one with an elevator. Their personal journey becomes as much a crazed, chaotic frenzy as when a Muslim truck driver is mistaken for a terrorist by the media and society in their beloved New York City.
If 5 FLIGHTS UP were only about the Carvers, it would be a slightly slow-paced introspective on growing older in a world now filled with young, hipster families starting out in Brooklyn, just as the Carvers did 40 years prior. Instead, the filmmakers add in ubiquitous TV, Internet and newspaper updates on a supposed Muslim terrorist, along with thickly biased comments about getting older and recurrent lines about the deficits in people’s pocketbooks and portfolios. So, the movie drifts from a character study to a thinly-veiled “message film.”
Major Hollywood darlings Morgan Freeman (Alex Carver) and Diane Keaton (Ruth Carver) star as a couple contemplating their age and desire for an apartment to accommodate their future needs. They acquiesce to urgent advice from Ruth’s niece, Lily, a real estate agent, to put their home on the market. Opening their current apartment to strangers is one adventure. Shopping for a new place becomes another.
The Carvers practice patience as a strange cast of characters swirls around them. They also watch as society seems to lose its mind, feverishly going on a witch hunt for a suspected terrorist. (Interestingly, the Muslim character is played by an actor with a Spanish name, hypothetically calling the viewer’s own presumptions into question). One character made to look especially ignorant when they say they couldn’t understand the suspect because “I don’t speak Muslim.”
While all this is happening, the couple continues to visit their pet, who is in expensive critical care at the veterinarian. They spend much time deliberating how on to help their pet, which becomes a sort of totem for their own predicament. Should they go with their hearts, even if it doesn’t make sense on paper? Should they battle the odds to help their pup, no matter the expense? How will they wade through those decisions and the ones they themselves have to face, including their financial struggles and their own present and future health issues? Faced with a world that seems to have gone mad, they finally go rogue, making a decision that reflects a last glimmer of their rebellious youth in the 1960s and 70s. Their decision to go against the grain reflects the stand Ruth took against her family when she wanted to marry an African-American. However, it also reflects the movie’s politically correct subplot about “Islamophobic” attitudes, suspicions and alleged prejudice against Muslims, who in fact are waging jihad.
In the end, 5 FLIGHTS UP speaks loud and clear about its Romantic, Anti-American, liberal, and politically correct sentiments. The final image is a slow, beautiful shot over New York’s skyline, centering on One World Trade Center. Media-wise moviegoers will rightfully avoid this PG-13 movie, which also contains plenty of annoying foul language and some nude images, mostly in paintings. Considering all the murders Muslims are committing (or trying to) these days here and abroad, the liberal messages in 5 FLIGHTS UP are rather silly and unfounded as well as contrived.
(RoRoRo, PCPCPC, APAP, P, FRFRFR, PaPa, HoHo, LLL, S, NN, A, DD, M) Very strong Romantic, liberal worldview about an older married couple looking for an apartment, mixed with a very strong politically correct story with strong Anti-American portrayal of average Americans overcoming some Pro-American content where American vigilance relating to Muslim internationals and false accusations against a Muslim in regard to terrorism since 9/11 are equated with being crazy, mean, prejudiced, fear-mongering, ignorant, and otherwise malevolent, plus other false religious, pagan elements include talk about “good karma” and “Fate” is mentioned in reference to animals and humans, and references to a lesbian couple; at least 20 obscenities and 20 profanities; no violence; some sexual implications in images of female nudity, references to two lesbians who are depicted together (not sexually) and later referred to as “partners” wishing to adopt a child, and brief kissing; at least 10 instances of upper female nudity in paintings, upper and lower female nudity/near nudity printed on a dress, one barely depicted instance of upper female nudity when a model sits for a painter; brief alcohol use implied; ash trays mentioned and marijuana growing and use implied; and, brief lying.
5 FLIGHTS UP is, at first, a seemingly light drama about Alex and Ruth Carver, a married interracial couple. Alex, a painter, and Ruth, a retired teacher, are aging Baby Boomers who hope to sell their Brooklyn apartment and find another more befitting a couple their age. Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton star as the married artist and teacher. Meanwhile, there’s a hysterical search for a Muslim truck driver falsely accused of being a terrorist. This subplot eventually affects the couple’s decision whether to move or not.
5 FLIGHTS UP weaves in a consistent politically correct message that Americans are too hysterical and too hyper-vigilant in the Post-9/11 world. It compares prejudices about interracial marriage to today’s lingering terrorism suspicions about Muslims invading the world. The movie makes its point, but drags in a boring way. Worse, it turns the average American into a maniacal, ignorant and hateful person who discriminates against Muslims. Media-wise moviegoers will rightfully avoid the politically correct 5 FLIGHTS UP, which also contains plenty of annoying foul language, some nude images in the male lead’s paintings, and marijuana references.