‘Some Kind of Heaven’ Is a Blend of Odd and Serene Beauty

Some Kind of Heaven Is a Blend of Odd and Serene BeautySome Kind of Heaven isn’t your average documentary. In fact, the setting itself is quite unique. You get a film dedicated to a Florida retirement community with its rich palette of turquoise blue swimming pools, endlessly green golf courses and busy meeting halls where something is always happening. Sounds straightforward enough, right? Not really. Director Lance Oppenheim offers a curious insight into the different life journeys of some of the 130,000 residents in the Villages.

Some Kind of Heaven Is Both Beautiful and Sad

Despite its many residents, Oppenheim has managed to find several colorful enough that make the documentary a must-watch. There’s 81-year-old Dennis, a retired Casanova whose quest to find a fair (and wealthy) lady keeps on going. There’s also Barbara, a mildly depressed widow from Boston, and your heart will surely be moved by Reggie’s drug addiction and his incredibly patient wife, Anne. This unlikely bundle of life stories and the honesty with which they’re told is what makes Some Kind of Heaven both a beautiful and sad documentary that, at the very least, will have you question your own retirement plans.

Dennis in front of his blue van
A Curious Look on Life After Retirement

If there’s one thing that’s crystal clear in the documentary is Oppenheim’s amazing ability to capture the odd and serenely beautiful aspects of a person’s life. No person’s life story is ever straightforward. Even Dennis’ plight isn’t entirely comic — a gold-digging man with a dark past in his early 80s living in a van. Not after you see him go out to seek spiritual consolation from a pastor dressed in a camp shirt do you realize the many shades of his journey.

As you’re watching it, you’ll probably find yourself torn between two questions. The question of “Can I be happy living there?” and “That’s too weird for my taste, right?” And who knows, maybe after watching Some Kind of Heaven, you’ll come up with stranger questions and surprising answers. One way to find out!