A Lotta Life (2017) – By Philip Smolen


Anna (Sharon Dennis) and Ralph (Lynn Kinkade) have been married to each other for nearly 50 years. And even though age has slowed them down, it hasn’t interfered with the couple’s love for each other. One day after returning from church they meet the Angel of Death himself (Mark Clem) who informs the couple that because of their undying love for each other, they will be allowed to pass from this Earth together at the same time. Fortunately, Anna and Ralph don’t quite seem to understand what the Angel of Death is talking about and they shoo him away from their home. Later, however, Ralph hits his head and falls to the floor. When Anna finds him, she thinks he’s gone on to the great beyond. Heartbroken, Anna decides that she doesn’t want to live without him, so she goes to the medicine cabinet and comes back with a bottle of pills. Is the Angel of Death about to get his way with the couple, or have Ralph and Anna figured out a way to cheat the Grim Reaper?

“A Lotta Life” is a wonderful 15 minute short film from writer/director Mark Dessauer. It is a warm and funny look at how ignorance can truly be bliss. Dessauer neatly divides the film into two halves: the first is about Anna and Ralph’s confusion over the purpose of the Angel of Death’s visit, while the second is basically a geezer version of the final act of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Dessauer never treats Ralph and Anna as buffoons or caricatures. They may have slowed down and they may have trouble hearing one another, but they are presented as real flesh and blood characters whose love for each other has never waned. And the joyful performances of Sharon Dennis and Lynn Kinkade add to the film’s overall delightfulness.”A Lotta Life” is a charming and witty look at how two senior citizens “rage against the dying of the light.”

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