Harvey Fairchild is a wealthy, Malibu-based architect who is turning 60 and suffering from a form of male menopause. He feels aches and pains, real or imaginary, and seems unhappy with his professional and personal life.
Harvey’s patient wife Gillian tries to cheer him with family get-togethers and an elaborately planned birthday party. But she secretly has worries of her own, a throat condition that could result in the loss of her voice.
Whining his way through day after day, Harvey snaps at his pregnant daughter Megan and makes rude remarks to his actor son Josh. He tries going to a priest, only to discover that the man to whom he is confessing is an old rival from their college years at Notre Dame. He also consults a local psychic, Madame Carrie, sex with whom leaves Harvey with a venereal disease.
The miserable Harvey is furious with a client named Janice Kern who can’t stop revising her plans for a magnificent house Harvey has been building, but he has meaningless sex with her as well. Gillian bravely hides her cancer fear from the family, but finally, overcome with emotion, she confides in her friend and neighbor, Holly.
That’s Life! is a 1986 American comedy-drama film starring Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews, directed by Blake Edwards. The film was made independently by Edwards using largely his own finances and was distributed by Columbia Pictures. Although Columbia released the film, Artisan Entertainment holds the rights to distribute it on DVD.
That’s Life! was shot in Edwards and his wife Andrews’ own beachside home in Malibu and features their family in small roles, including two daughters. Lemmon’s son Chris Lemmon plays his character’s son Josh, while his wife Felicia Farr puts in a brief cameo appearance as a fortune teller.
Because of the film’s independent status, many of the cast and crew were paid below union-level wages, resulting in the American Society of Cinematographers picketing the film during production and taking an advertisement in Variety in protest. As a result, the original director of photography, Harry Stradling Jr., was forced to quit the film and was subsequently replaced by Anthony Richmond, a British cinematographer.
That’s Life! (1986)
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Julie Andrews, Sally Kellerman, Robert Loggia, Jennifer Edwards, Robert Knepper, Matt Lattanzi, Chris Lemmon, Cynthia Sikes, Dana Sparks
Screenplay by: Milton Wexler, Blake Edwards
Production Design by: Tony Marando
Cinematography by: Anthony B. Richmond
Film Editing by: Lee Rhoads
Costume Design by: Tracy Tynan
Set Decoration by: Tony Marando
Music by: Henry Mancini
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 10, 1986