The Second Time Around
★ ★ ★
As the title suggests “The Second Time Around” is about taking another kick at the can. In this case it is a late-in-life chance for romance between widowers Katherine Mitchell (Linda Thorson) and Isaac Shapiro (Stuart Margolin).
Katherine is a woman of a certain age obsessed with the music of Puccini, Verdi and Mozart. When a broken hip lands her in an assisted care facility, her dream of visiting the La Scala Opera House in Milan is pushed to the background. As she recuperates she meets Isaac, a grumpy old man and former tailor. A shared love of music and dancing brings them together, but the side effects of aging conspire to keep them apart. Is love, as Frank Sinatra sang, “lovelier the second time around,” and will they fulfill Katherine’s dream of seeing an opera in Milan?
“The Second Time Around” is a gentle romantic drama made special by performances from seasoned pros Thorson, Margolin who bring chemistry and empathy to their characters and Jayne Eastwood in a supporting role.
They give spark to a story that radiates a certain warmth but is, nonetheless, on the predictable side. Combatting the narrative’s unsurprising trajectory is director Leon Marr’s stylistic flourishes. He takes his time with the story, allowing Katherine and Isaac’s reminisces room to breathe in long, uninterrupted takes. His lip-synced recreations of operas are slightly surreal but amply display Katherine’s love of the music.
Those touches, coupled with solid performances and a realistic view of old age give “The Second Time Around” resonance.