‘Queen Bees’ shows it’s never too late to find love, friendship, and happiness

Category: Movies


Ellen Burstyn stars in the romantic comedy Queen Bees about a woman at a crossroads in her life. The all-star cast is fun to watch as they demonstrate that growing old does not mean being useless, helpless, and loveless.

Helen (Burstyn) is a widow living in the same house in which she raised her daughter Laura (Elizabeth Mitchell). She is a little forgetful (aren’t we all?) but fiercely independent and self-assured. So when her kitchen catches on fire, Laura talks her mother into moving into the Pine Grove retirement community while the repairs are being made. Helen reluctantly agrees. It is only for a month, after all.

Helen runs into the Queen Bees of the community: Margot (Ann-Margret), Sally (Loretta Devine), and Janet (Jane Curtin). In the cast of Janet, the “B” in Queen Bees does not stand for “Bee!” This is a woman with a chip on her shoulder and not a kind word to say about anyone.

Helen keeps her distance from the residence but when newcomer Dan (James Caan) enters the scene, she finds it hard to keep him at arms length. While Margot is infatuated with Arthur (Christopher Lloyd), Helen starts a sweet friendship with Dan.

Every one of the characters has a different personality with unique attributes. They blend together beautifully as these seniors manage their lives while confronting the ups and downs of aging.

We are living in an aging society so even though viewers might think this is a film for seniors only, it does have a great lesson for younger viewers. Just because someone is old, it doesn’t mean he or she is useless, unfeeling, or incapable of a new love.

As Ann-Margret said, “It’s wonderful to show these four older women and how they get along. They are really an interesting group ….”

As for her storyline with Caan, Burstyn said, “It’s a classic boy-meets-girl story, but the boy and the girl are in their 70s.”

Janet’s life has been a struggle. She is estranged from her family and the chip on her shoulder is evident from the first time viewers see her. “When Helen arrives and seems to go through life effortlessly, being kind and warm and making friends easily, it’s tough for Janet,” Curtin explained.

When discussing the different characters, Devine acknowledges, “Eventually they become each other’s saving grace.”

Caan plays the love interest for Burstyn and said, “When you get older, it’s not so much about sexual attraction and ripping each other’s clothes off. It’s a different kind of chemistry, and these two have it.”

So while the population ages, more films about seniors are showing that age is a matter of mind, although the body has some trouble adjusting to that! The cast is what makes this film engaging.

Queen Bees is rated PG-13 and premieres in theaters and on demand June 11, 2021.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club and the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.