In her first leading role since 1988’s Big Business with Bette Midler, comedy legend, Lily Tomlin, plays Elle Reid – a bisexual feminist poet  – whose work is like catnip to women’s-studies majors and the like.

She is breaking up with her far younger girlfriend and still dealing with the death of her longtime partner, when her granddaughter, Sage, unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The duo spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

Like Tomlin herself, Elle is an out lesbian long before it was widely accepted, and her daughter, Judy, had Sage through an anonymous sperm donor. And now it is Sage’s turn to make a critical decision about her own body and the life of her unborn child — a decision, “Grandma” unambiguously argues, it is hers and only hers to make.

I know I’m putting myself on the line, kind of. But I trusted (writer-director by Paul Weitz) and I liked the material. First of all, he had written it with me in mind, and he wanted me. Then as we worked through the material, it just seemed like a good thing to do.”

Lily Tomlin

The film co-stars Julia Garner, Laverne Cox, Marcia Gay Harden and Judy Greer.

 

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