“Autumn in Paradise” is an amusing and touching look at love in the latter years of life. Though it falls apart in the final reel, director-writer Richard Hobert’s sequel to “Spring of Joy” (and third in his Seven Deadly Sins cycle) should garner positive B.O. reaction locally.
In “Spring,” Hobert introduced the recently widowed Ragnar, a man in his early 70s trying to put his beloved wife’s ashes to rest. Film also told of his hard-drinking musician son Mikael, and Mikael’s punk g.f. Catti. “Autumn” is set four months after the earlier pic, with the same actors in the main roles.
Ragnar (Sven Lindberg) has fallen in love with Vendela (Mona Malm), a woman in her 60s who makes a living growing apples. Their mutual infatuation finally is consummated, but Vendela is reluctant to commit herself too deeply and Ragnar behaves more and more like a teenager in love.
Meanwhile, Mikael (Goran Stangertz) has had a hit record and is surfing on a wave of success. Catti (Camilla Lunden) is expecting their first child, but Mikael starts a relationship with Susanne (Solbjorg Hojfeldt). Relations become increasingly complicated before being resolved on the day of a local apple fair.
Pic is at its best in depicting the love affair between Ragnar and Vendela, who still behave like giggling and sometimes jealous teenagers despite their age. Mikael and Catti’s story also is touching, though it’s hard to understand why the latter doesn’t dump her boozy, lying, unfaithful partner.
Unfortunately, the film disintegrates at the end into cliches, with rapid resolutions in the final 10 minutes as everyone just happens to be in the right place at the right time. However, “Autumn” still is worth a look, with crossover potential between older and younger auds with the right handling.