The kind of telepic that makes you wish bigscreen features could manage such intimate yet crowd-pleasing character drama more often, BBC production “When I’m 64” chronicles an autumnal romance between a hitherto straight, working-class widower and a newly retired don. Expertly written, directed and acted tale is a keeper that merits fest bookings (not just gay ones) as well as offshore niche DVD pickups.
Working part-time as a taxi driver to keep busy, suburbanite Ray (Paul Freeman) is getting way too old for his lifelong pastime (soccer hooliganry), sorely misses his late wife, and is treated with increasing condescension by his grown children (Tamzin Outhwaite, Jason Flemyng). One day his passenger is shy, stuffy Jim (Alun Armstrong), who’s just ended decades of teaching at the same boys’ school he attended as a youth. Freed at last, he now wants to “see the world.” But his elderly father’s sudden health problems put that plan on hold. Despite having very little in common, Ray nudges Jim into a friendship whose eventual romantic nature surprises them both — and mortifies Ray’s nosy kids. Warm, good-humored and deeply felt pic is nicely turned in all departments.