In USED PEOPLE, Shirley MacLaine plays Pearl Berman, a 1950s housewife, who, after her husband’s death, surrounds herself with her Jewish family to help her grieve. At the funeral, she is asked out by a suave Italian admirer (Marcello Mastroianni), who saved Pearl’s marriage 23 years earlier. On their date, he reminisces about teaching her husband to dance. He tells of a letter her husband wrote stating he was leaving because he did not offer her the companionship she deserved. Marcello told him to dance with her instead of giving her the letter. He did, and their marriage lasted until his death. Grieving, her grandson starts to believe that he has super powers because his dead grandfather is now his “force field.” When the boy tries to prove he is invincible, Marcello saves the boy’s life. Eventually, Marcello’s love draws the family closer together, changing everyone involved.
This comedic drama about families, romance and second chances lends hope to all who watch it. There are two scenes that refer to extramarital sex, and three scenes when the grandson tests his invincibleness. As a whole, the movie is relatively tame, and the changes that the family undergoes are heartwarming.
(B, L, S) The theme of love triumphing over adversity is marred only by four obscenities & sexual innuendo.