NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 4:00 AM
It’s a movie about old guys, so naturally there is plenty of young flesh for them to ogle.
Youth is fleeting. “Youth” is not.
In fact, you may feel yourself getting older just watching it.
A glacially paced piece of pretension, the movie is set at the kind of incredibly expensive European spa where every aging body you never wanted to see naked is.
Harvey Keitel plays a Hollywood director trying hard to finish his new script. Michael Caine is a conductor stubbornly turning down overtures to return to his career.
Also on hand is Paul Dano as a mopey American actor and Jane Fonda as a legendary movie star. Rachel Weisz plays Caine’s dutiful daughter, busy having a ridiculous flirtation with someone whose beard could have its own ZIP code.
Nothing much else happens. Caine and Keitel have long conversations about their prostates. Naked elderly people climb in and out of saunas, slurp soup or fornicate in forests.
And your own youth grows fainter.
Yes, Caine remains a wonderful presence, an actor who could make the phone book sound interesting. But the Yellow Pages listings would be an improvement over this script. Fonda has the best scene in the picture, a just-gimme-the-Oscar-now monologue about her career — but you have to sit through most of the movie to get to it.
And that means suffering through director Paolo Sorrentino’s poor Fellini imitations and badly overdone satire of Hollywood, interrupted by dull musical numbers and a Queen Elizabeth impersonator. Oh, and there’s also an immensely obese guy in a tiny bathing suit. And a Hitler joke.
Sorry, but this “Youth” is wasted on the young and old alike.