Fred Won’t Move Out is a 2012 movie starring Elliott Gould, Fred Melamed, and Stephanie Roth Haberle; directed by Richard Ledes.
The film is a semi-autobiographical look at an event that is becoming all too common. Bob (played by Melamed) works on convincing his father, Fred (played by Gould), to move out of his house of 50 years after Bob’s mother, Susan (played by Judith Roberts), moves into more assisted living to help for her Alzheimer’s.
The film starts out showing life at Susan and Fred’s home. They have a caretaker, Vanessa, but Susan’s mobility is incredibly limited (not to mention the other challenges caused by Alzheimer’s). Fred can get along okay, but he tends to forget things. Eventually Bob and his wife (played by Haberle) come over to visit, with their young daughter. Bob tries to talk Fred into moving out to live with Susan in the city. Fred resists, but eventually agrees. Some time later Bob returns to help Fred move out, and Fred has forgotten he agreed.
Fred Won’t Move Out is best described, in my mind, as tender. There isn’t much to the film. The setting stays at Fred and Susan’s house, and the movie is only 74 minutes long. But what it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in emotion. Throughout all the frustration and anger that comes, we see that the family loves each other. We see Fred’s fear of change, of the realization that his life is going to change and there’s no way to go back, the inevitability that we will all face at that age. It’s always difficult to see a child become their parent’s parent.
The movie is a very simple portrait of feelings undeniably human, and it captures them so well. Gould’s work is quite good, and Ledes does an excellent job at pacing the film. It’s currently playing at Art House Cinema 502 through October 18th, so be sure to check their website for showtimes.