“Old Stock,” a new Canadian dramedy starring Noah Reid, starts with a quirky premise. Stock (Reid) has been happily living at the Golden Seasons retirement home for two years. He enjoys the life—the bake sales and flirting with the dance instructor—but the problem is, he’s sixty years younger than most of the other residents.
He’s been living at the facility with his grandfather Harold (Danny Wells) in a vain attempt to escape a monumental mistake from his past and control his future. He’s forced to confront real life when the other residents evict him, for his own good.
He reluctantly leaves, fleeing on an electric wheelchair to his grandmother’s house beginning process where Stock takes stock of his life and prospects.
Despite its odd premise “Old Stock” is a surprisingly effective and touching film. It’s a snapshot of the fear young people have of an uncertain future, centered around a young character who wishes he was old so he could avoid all the unpleasantness of growing up.
This is a character-based movie and your enjoyment of it will depend on whether you buy into the Stock, Harold and the rest. The ruminations on growing up versus maturing aren’t new or groundbreaking and some of the characters—like the grandfather who refuses to grow up—are best described as stock characters, no pun intended—but Reid and Melanie Leishman as Patti, the on-parole dance instructor he falls for, cut through the story’s quirk to deliver nice, resonate performances.
“Old Stock” is a slow burn of a movie that improves as it goes along. There are a few laughs, some pathos and less quirk than the premise might suggest.