I once awoke in the middle of the night in excruciating pain from a kidney stone. An ambulance took me to the hospital, where morphine had to be administered before I was rushed into surgery. That was more fun than Love Comes Lately, one of the most ill-conceived films to come down the pike in a long, long time. This is the kind of film that you watch, and realize that it must have been financed by some multi-millionaire on a personal whim -- no right-thinking person would ever believe there's a profit to be made or an audience for this material. The story, which is a kind of fourth-rate hybrid of About Schmidt and Deconstructing Harry, with none of the wit, humanity or coherence of those films, revolves an 80-something geezer called Max Kohn, played by Otto Tausig. Max is a short-story writer of some reputation, who, now that he's grown old, passes his abundant free time by accepting invitations to give lectures and readings at small colleges around the country.

As Max goes about his travels, the film slips in and out of what is supposed to be his fantasy life, although his fantasies are about as exciting as a glass of Ovaltine. At one hotel he's told that the woman in the room next to him committed suicide -- wouldn't hotels want to maybe keep that info close to the vest? -- so he conjures up a staid romantic encounter between himself and this deceased woman, which goes nowhere and adds up to nothing. There's another episode in which he shacks up with the cleaning lady at a Miami motel and, in this one, I think his name is Simon. At other times he's called Harry -- the name changes are meant to cue us when we're inside his fictional world. The problem is that his imagined life is indistinguishable from his monotonous real life, which he shares with a girlfriend of about 60, played by Rhea Perlman. We're supposed to laugh at her continual suspicions of his infidelity -- get it? old people cheating on old people? -- but laughter isn't in the cards.