My Thoughts On Some Kind of Heaven

Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

You may have seen me previously mention the documentary titled “Some Kind of Heaven” that was filmed in The Villages.

It’s set for a limited theater release on January 8, 2021 and a Video On Demand release on January 15, 2021.

Just before Christmas, one of the public relations folks working on the film reached out and asked if I’d like a special link to watch it early. 

I never knew this gig came with so many perks! (I’m laughing sarcastically/loudly after typing that.) 

Of course I replied yes!

I watched the movie last week and here are my thoughts. 

First I’d like to say that I’m a big movie fan, but I’m not a film critic. So, I’ll leave the comments on the style/execution of the film to the experts.

If you want my one sentence review, here it is: 

Some Kind of Heaven wasn’t what I wanted or hoped it would be, but I think anyone living in or considering The Villages for their retirement should watch it.

Want the longer version of my thoughts? Here they are…

I’ll begin by saying it was pretty cool to see The Villages on the big-screen (well it was my iPad but you catch my drift).

Some Kind of Heaven is certainly not a “feel-good” movie. In fact, you might be a little conflicted about it for hours or days afterwards.

You should be warned though, the film does feature drug use and talk of sex/masturbation, so it’s probably best not to watch it with your church group or with anyone who has virgin eyes or ears (ha!).

A lot of people were worried that Some Kind of Heaven would be a “hit piece” on The Villages. Some viewers may come away saying that it was, but I see it differently.

Do I think that there will be people who might be considering The Villages now who will watch the film and change their minds about moving here?

Yes, absolutely.

But my main thought after watching Some Kind of Heaven and letting it set in for a week or so is that it was not so much a film designed to be negative towards The Villages, but more so a movie about aging that happened to be set in The Villages.

In that sense it reminded me a lot of “Kings Point” if you happened to see that documentary about the Kings Point 55+ development down in Delray Beach.

The basic premise being that getting old can suck, and things don’t always work out the way we planned.

Now, of course the director used The Villages name recognition and some of the unique aspects of The Villages to get people interested in the film.

You would too if you were trying to draw attention to your film.

As far as the main characters are concerned, they were clearly chosen to stand out, or rather because they do stand out.

I would not say that any of the main characters is your “typical Villager”.

Unfortunately that’s the impression people who aren’t familiar with The Villages (and the people who live there) will probably come away with.

But again, I do recommend you try to watch Some Kind of Heaven, if for no other reason than to know what your friends/family who have watched it will have seen.

Here’s a list of where it’s playing in Florida:

FT MYERS/NAPLES: Paragon Pavilion/Naples, Silverspot/Naples  

JACKSONVILLE: Epic 16/St. Augustine, Epic 14/Palm Coast  

MIAMI/FT LAUDERDALE: Cinema Paradiso/Hollywood, Savor Cinema/Fort Lauderdale, Paragon Ridge/Davie, Silverspot/Coconut Creek, Silverspot/Miami, Cobb Cinebistro at Cityplace Doral, Cobb Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall, CMX Brickell City Center/Miami, Miami Lakes 17/Miami Lakes, iPic Luxury Cinemas/North Miami Beach

ORLANDO/DAYTONA: Festival Bay Orlando, Cobb Plaza Café Orlando, Studio Movie Grill Sunset Walk Kissimmee, Epic 16 Clermont, Epic 12 Mount Dora, Epic Ocala, Reilly Arts Center Ocala (1/28, 1/30 – 1/31), Oaks Melbourne, Cinema World West Melbourne, Merritt Square 16 Merritt Island, Epic West Volusia 12 Deltona, Cobb Daytona Luxury Daytona.

TALLAHASSEE: CMX Fallschase 14

TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG: CMX Cinebistro at Hyde Park/Tampa, Tyrone Luxury 10/St. Petersburg, Countryside 12 Clearwater, Xscape/Riverview, Lakeside Village 18 Lakeland, Studio Movie Grill/Seminole, Touchstar Cinema Spring Hill 8/Spring Hill

SARASOTA:CMX Cinebistro Siesta Southgate 7 

WEST PALM BEACH: Cinemark Palace 20/Boca Raton, iPic Luxury Cinemas Mizner Park/Boca Raton, iPic Luxury Cinemas, Delray Beach, CMX Cinemas Wellington/Wellington, CMX Downtown at the Gardens/Palm Beach Gardens, Cinepolis Jupiter, Cinema World/Vero Beach, Touchstar Cinema Sabal Palms, Fort Pierce   

Let me know what you think in the comments down below after you watch the film!

16 thoughts on “My Thoughts On Some Kind of Heaven”

  1. Based on your description of your film I am reluctant to view it. I would like to move to a 55+ community
    .
    If you have sincere concerns about The Villages of Florida I would sincerely appreciate your input.

    I have already purchased your book. I am becoming increasingly concerned about making a life time life decision.

    I would appreciate any information you can provide.

  2. Not the Villages I know! Produced by some 23 year old want to be, who would have no idea what we are or do or why we are here. If I were him I would choose another topic closer to his “zone”, because this isn’t it.

  3. The documentary was what I expected. It’s about a community that plays like a low level sitcom with characters that are comical in their own right. You can life with them while laughing at them!

    It reminds me of a comic strip drawn by Julie Larson called “Dinette Set” that was a snarky satire of a group of middle aged (55-75) group of people living in a middle class white American suburb where they showed themselves a charming, humble, yet they were not very “deep”. Their were all retired focused upon their way of living, and their greatest notion of live was their grandkids! Sadly, the comic strip ended its run, but I enjoyed the series for its cocky humor–the same as the documentary holds!

  4. I can’t send the link, but get on YouTube and search Lance Oppenheim. He has been interviewed by some people. Very interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing it!

  5. Great weather, low crime, peace and quiet with a lot of active things to do. There are a lot of people living a lot worse and if you don’t agree you can sell ay a profit and move..

  6. Frank from Corsicana

    Ryan, I have only watched the trailer but even from just that I can tell the movie is heavily weighted in the whole “hooking up” aspect of The Villages. I’m sure plenty of that goes on here but it far from the ONLY activity in which active retirees participate. Still I get it. Sex sells.

  7. I only watched the trailor and not inclined to see the movie. I had experience with the “gigalow” character in my neighborhood pool Of course I know it exists but the level of manipulation of kind, gentle, volunerable women sickened me. I reported him to the Villages and he was removed.

    I already have way too many friends who think it is Sin city here and laugh when I say I moved here. I am still the same woman I was ……….. not a swinger……… I was all my life. I’ve lived here 5 wonderful years. I do what is in alignment with who I am and continue to be my best self.

    If the “good” people watch this and decide not to move here, it will be a sad day for sure.

    Your evaluation was “fair” but I would have preferred you not promote the movie.

  8. I am suspicious about a very young fledgling student cinematographer tackling a sensitive subject such
    as “aging” and using The Villages” as a stage set. It might be just a typical marketing ploy to get into the spotlight. It’s been done before. Personally, I will start by reading your book.

  9. Never let a movie dictate what you want to do. I live here and it is a Disney World for adults!! Take a lifestyle tour, talk to real people and you’ll see it’s one of the best places to live and be active!!

  10. My best friend and her husband live in the Villages (snowbirds) and I have visited several times and am looking forward to going back. I watched “Some Kind of Heaven” last night and was very disappointed. I felt the director picked mostly characters that do not reflect the average person living there. He picked people who would help him sell movie tickets. Yes, aging can be sad and lonely but it also can be a time for you. A time to do the things you didn’t have time for while working and raising a family. No-ones life is perfect and life doesn’t always turn out how we want it to but I wish the director would have showed more of the good and what the average person sees and experiences in the Villages.

  11. It really isn’t about hooking up – that’s a way to sell the movie but as Ryan says it’s really a documentary about aging that happens to take place in the Villages – it could as easily take place in any retirement community.

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