1995, USA, 108 min.
Max Apple’s acclaimed memoir of life with his grandfather, who lived to 107, gets successfully overhauled in this heartwarming, emotionally satisfying film adaptation that gives Peter Falk a memorable role. The beloved television actor plays Rocky, a cantankerous baker, who at age 75 becomes the caretaker of his young, orphaned grandson. The boy, Michael, grows up. He becomes a doctor, marries, has children. Then tragedy strikes. At each high and low, the old man provides ballast for Michael (played as an adult by D.B. Sweeney). Though Rocky is portrayed as a font of wisdom, what distinguishes the movie is director Peter Yates’ refusal to turn the character into a mascot or a punch line. Rocky’s refusal to compromise, coupled with his relentless love for his family, will delight and educate viewers of all ages.