"Doesn’t Answer the Question"
What You Need To Know:
There are moments in HOW TO LIVE FOREVER that are truly hilarious. There are moments that are spiritually impacting. And, there are some moments that are exceptionally disgusting, including pornography and explicit nudity. With a little cutting, HOW TO LIVE FOREVER could have been an excellent anecdote to the new crop of politically correct documentaries. Mark’s truly objective, so the audience becomes the judge. Regrettably, in his objectivity, he’s included too much. He also doesn’t differentiate between the Christians who’ve lived really long and the pagans and pornographers. Thus, HOW TO LIVE FOREVER is excessive.
(PaPaPa, CC, HH, FRFR, L, V, SSS, NNN, A, D, MM) Very strong eclectic, pagan worldview where the filmmaker is trying to answer the question posed by the title and has no differentiation between several philosophies, with some strong positive Christian characters but also an atheist, a pornographer, Chinese Confucians, vegans, and yogis; three obscenities and two light profanities; rough physical massage and discussions of death and the way people die; rampant sexual content includes very offensive clips from Japanese elderly pornography showing every part of a woman’s body, statues showing full male nudity, images from porn flick mention of self-abuse; extreme nudity; references to daily alcohol use; smokers depicted; and, the hucksterism of the funeral and longevity societies and narcissism.
When Mark Wexler’s mother died, he embarked on a personal journey to find out how to live forever. First, he went to a funeral convention in Las Vegas and discovered Americans are infatuated with things celebrating the death, including having beautiful coffins, but never discuss the grief of dying. At a longevity convention, he encounters a plethora of people offering everything from mechanical devices to hormones to sleep therapy to lengthen your life. A professor at Cambridge University in the UK says in 20 years there will be a pill to reverse aging so you’ll live to be 500 years old. Mark asks several people on the street if they want to live to be 500. Most do, but a few come up with what sounds like the Christian answer that is that they’re satisfied with the time God’s allotted them.
Mark travels with the gerontology researcher for GUINNES BOOKOF FACTS to find the oldest living people whose age can be verified beyond a shadow of a doubt. Several of these people are very strong Christians. Two are overt atheists. One discovered sex at an old age and now stars in Japanese senior pornography, which is absolutely disgusting. One Indian guru says laughter is the answer, but his laughter sounds forced and demonic. Another scientist says starvation diet is the answer, and Mark looks very sad when his dinner consists of one shrimp and three small peas on a gigantic plate. The food critic for the Los Angeles Times says eat everything you want and introduces Mark to a famous calorie-rich enchilada hot dog, but Mark can barely take a bite of this greasy concoction. Some Seventh Day Adventists in Yorba Linda talk about Jesus and health and the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
The bottom line to all this is that nobody knows how to live forever, though one funeral director hints that it is a spiritual not a physical question and the answer is in God’s hands. This funeral director points out we live in a narcissistic culture that’s forgotten the spiritual component of life and death.
There are moments in HOW TO LIVE FOREVER that are truly funny, laugh-out-loud hilarious. There are moments that are spiritually impacting. And, there are some moments that are exceptionally disgusting, including the pornography and explicit nudity. Therefore, the movie deserves a Minus Three.
With a little cutting, HOW TO LIVE FOREVER could have been an excellent anecdote to the new crop of politically correct documentaries. Mark is truly objective, so the audience becomes the judge. Regrettably, in his objectivity, he’s included too much and thus the movie is excessive.
The filmmaker is trying to answer the question posed by the title. However, he has no differentiation between the several Christians who have reached incredibly senior ages, the atheists that do this, the yogis, the New Agers, the vegans, and the pornographers. Thus, the movie shows that really elderly people over 100 don’t have an answer to how to live forever.