After losing his wife, Tom Gerrin tries to fill the void by moving in with his son and daughter-in-law. But unable to recapture his previous lively spirit, he feels it's time he moved on. When he meets Marco, a ringmaster at a travelling circus, he feels a surge of hope and renewed interest in life. A free spirited 20-something, named Leanne also enters his life and the unlikely pair embark on a journey, hitchhiking from Kansas to California. At first the curmudgeonly Tom and irreverent rich kid Leanne bust each others chops with their differences, but as the journey progresses, so does the depth of their understanding of each other's rich and often troubled experiences. With a young woman's zest for the adventure in life and the regained passion that he finds with Veronica, an old flame he meets again by chance, Tom's autumn years show him what he has been missing in the times before. His renewed lust for life takes him all the way to the home where he feels happiest.
Bridging the generation gap
- The Long Way Home review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Tom Gerrin, (Jack Lemmon), is a 75 year old widower who finds himself at the mercy of decisions made for him by his two daughters and two sons after the death of his wife. Under pressure from his family he moves into his sons’ home, but becomes irritated with the way they overprotect him, making decisions on his behalf and treating him almost as one of their children. While walking home, Tom comes close to being run over by Leanne Bossert, (Sarah Paulson), a young female college student who is driving across the country to visit her parents in California. This chance meeting prompts Tom to spontaneously hitch a ride with the young woman on her cross country journey to California in order to meet up with an old sweetheart he had not seen for 50 years. On their journey Tom and Leanne's friendship blossoms and the generational gap of their friendship helps them both to reflect and later understand to what is important in their lives and why the family members closest to you, behave the way they do. Interspersed with witty dialogue and escapades with various characters they meet along the way, 'The Long Way Home' is a gentle heart warming feel good movie that touches on the bittersweet relationship between parents and their children and the ageism and ignorance that often separates them.