Overview: A couple’s weekend is inundated with the aggravation of moving and searching for a new apartment in Brooklyn; Focus World; 2015; Rated PG-13. 92 minutes.
The Apartment Built on Sand: Back in the day, Brooklyn was not such a happenin’ town. Decades later, real estate exploded. Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keaton) reside in a gold mine of a flat, with a potential value sitting at nearly a million dollars. Today, hipsters swarm the streets and the building is causing nothing but aches and pains for Alex, Ruth, and Dorothy, their canine family member. Can the Carver family find a new place to call home?
Typically, the HGTV channel runs in the background in my mum’s house. 5 Flights Up tastefully mocks the home staging, apartment hunting, and flows of window-shoppers packaged with selling and buying a home. The process is arduous. Given this, the Carver’s decision to look into selling their home is unnecessarily rushed. The only factor forcing the couple to explore the housing market is Alex’s rickety knees. After a band potential buyers and some offbeat visitors peruse the apartment, Ruth suddenly becomes driven to find a new apartment like it’s a novel idea. Is that not how the process goes? Replace one apartment with another? This concept appears unknown, or more like, unexplored.
Alex and Ruth have clearly not been exposed to as much HGTV as I have, nor their real estate agent and niece (Cynthia Nixon). Their niece did not raise the issue of their future residence and then became disgruntled when Ruth attended open houses. The entire process is disconnected and the movie grows weaker with each subsequent oversight. Ruth does have one defining moment, defending Alex’s artwork and artwork for all artists for that matter, during a dinner with family friends in the art dealing venture. Artists do not do their work to accommodate what is “in”; an artist’s efforts are to please himself and only himself. This strong sentiment, although I completely agree, is out-of-place. The movie contains other tangents and has difficulty narrowing its focus. The writers may have realized this because in reality, the runtime could be cut-down considerably.
At Least it has a Good View: Throughout the movie, Alex and Ruth have solitary moments throughout the apartment, initiating flashbacks. Their memories, both good and bad, are attestations to their current personalities. The memories provide backstories without focusing on the broader past and then bring the viewer back to the current moment in time. Korey Jackson and Claire van der Boom are convincing as the younger Alex and Ruth counterparts. But without these memories, the movie would have been at a complete loss.
Final Thoughts: 5 Flights Up offers an incoherent series of events that will probably resonate more with older audiences.