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AARP The Magazine

The Stars of 'Last Vegas' Have Fun — Lots of Fun

Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline share laughs about their lives — and what’s still ahead

Last Vegas Robert De Niro (Art Streiber)

Robert De Niro is an actor, of course, but he's also a studio chief, restaurant owner and hotelier. — Art Streiber

A Grownup Hangover

Last Vegas is being called The Hangover for older dudes. When Billy, a wealthy lifelong bachelor played by Douglas, finally proposes, he corrals his childhood BFFs from Brooklyn to join him on a Vegas bender.

All manner of kvetching ensues, beginning with the fact that Billy's betrothed is nearly half his age at "almost 32."

"I have a hemorrhoid that's 'almost 32,' " Freeman's character cracks. And yet, the Flatbush Four, as the guys are known, hit the Strip for a Red Bull-and-Viagra-infused romp about the staying power of friendship, especially between men, particularly those over 50.

"I was worried about these legends gelling, but one boisterous dinner together was all it took," says the director, Jon Turteltaub. "Michael was instantly team quarterback, Kevin was class clown, Morgan was the lovable troublemaker and Bobby was the cool, aloof one. It was a lot like other friendships between men. The more they got to know each other, the more they insulted each other."

Male relationships have a flavor all their own. In his book Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships, Geoffrey Greif, Ph.D., professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, makes the case that men choose friends almost like tools on a utility belt.

A "must" friend is the first to get the call after a hole in one or a tough diagnosis. A "trust" friend is well regarded and loyal but not quite the inner circle. "Just" friends are passing acquaintances, while "rust" friends stand the test of time — even if they sometimes can't stand one another. The last group is the strongest, Greif says. "Even if rust friends don't see each other for decades, they'll pick up again like kids."

That's exactly what happens in Last Vegas. Even now, as the photo shoot wraps and the actors linger on barstools to discuss the movie, friendships and one another, it's clear that age has no limits on how charmingly boyish ("I'm almost on empty," Freeman says, shaking his glass) a group of very famous men can be.

AARP The Magazine: Last Vegas has a ton of laughs, but the deeper message is that age doesn't need to define you.

Kevin Kline: It's not how old you are but how you are old, as the saying goes. Actors don't have ages — we have age ranges. But I had to wear a hearing aid in this movie and let my hair and beard go white, so I felt every bit my age.

Robert De Niro: I don't feel 70. I look in the mirror and I say, 'Yeah, I guess I am.' But I don't feel that way.

Morgan Freeman: You feel like you feel. Age is arbitrary. Some days on the golf course, I feel like I'm 90. Other days, 50.

Michael Douglas: And Morgan plays golf with one hand!

KK: But people do naturally think that if you're old, you're not to be venerated. You're to be marginalized.

RD: Yeah, that's in this culture. In other cultures that's not the case.

Next page: Becoming great friends while playing great friends. »

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