In the Swingin’ Sixties Michael Caine had much luck with the ladies. Perhaps you already knew that. If not, it’s about the only thing you’ll learn from “My Generation,” a new peppy but unnecessary documentary.
“My Generation” starts off well enough, painting a vivid picture of drab post-war England. Grey, class conscious and run by stiffed-shirts London was far from the hip vortex it would become with the advent of Bibi, mini-skirts, the Beatles and Pop Art. Caine, who acts as host, along with new and archival interviews with John Lennon, Marianne Faithfull, David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton and other luminaries, describe the beginnings of a cultural revolution. They talk about shattering the class divide that kept working class men and women from breaking into public life, the country’s sexual awakening and Paul McCartney’s appetite for LSD. In short, how sex, drugs and rock n’ roll made London the coolest place on the planet for much of the 1960s.
From there it becomes a greatest hits look back, a K-Tel collection of interviews and footage. It’s fun to hear some of these stories rehashed—Why Faithfull was naked when the police burst into Keith Richard’s home in 1967?—and see the sights but these are fuzzy thumbnails, not full resolution pictures.
Most of “My Generation” is engagingly told and Caine is a charming host but it often feels more like the nostalgic musings for a long ago time than insightful commentary.