Five longtime friends, a 50th-birthday celebration, a house on a vineyard in Napa Valley, lots of wine and flannel pj's — and some unresolved issues: That's the setup for Amy Poehler's directing debut, the girls-getaway film Wine Country (Netflix, streaming anytime). AARP The Magazine chatted with Poehler, 47, and her SNL-alum costars (Rachel Dratch, 53, Maya Rudolph, 46, Ana Gasteyer, 52, screenwriter Emily Spivey, 47, and Poehler) about the benefits of women-only weekends.
Why Have Them?
Gasteyer: Modern adult life is insane. One lost weekend featuring muumuus, wine and laughing so hard your abs hurt the next day can kick-start enough serotonin to moderate your cortisol for months.
Dratch: It kind of jump-starts your system, doing something you don't usually do, like taking a trapeze lesson. Though the trapeze lesson is something you can try, I'll pass!
Poehler: Human connection is the only way we will win in our eventual war with the robots.
What to Bring
Rudolph: Wine, wine and wine or wine, a bathing suit and Benadryl, in case of a black widow bite.
Poehler: Pillows. Food. History. Trust. Boundaries.
Spivey: Songs for a dance party.
Watch: 'Wine Country' Secret to Friendship
What to Do
Dratch: Something you wouldn't normally do at home, like a weird spa treatment or a tarot card reading.
How It's Different From a Romantic Getaway
Rudolph: Less sex.
Gasteyer: No worrying about acid reflux at bedtime.
If 50 is the new 40 and age is an attitude, why do women fear getting older?
Rudolph: I'm guessing mortality?
Poehler: Because society is obsessed with making us feel bad about getting older, and every once in a while, it wears us down.
Dratch: Once you hit 50 you realize your time is even more precious. Cue Debbie Downer trombone!
Gasteyer: Growing older is incredible. You get to set your rules and boundaries, say no with more confidence, and check in with your inner wisdom. The hard part is that it becomes more obvious that it is all ultimately up to you: your mistakes, your victories. And sometimes we want to abdicate those responsibilities -— have a parent in the room, a boss, someone who knows better than we do. But the reality is that age is a privilege, and we are ultimately much better experts on ourselves, and the world, than we ever knew we could be.
Watch: How ‘Wine Country’ Stars Are Better With Age
If we're eternally young, what is a legitimate reason for a midlife crisis?
Gasteyer: Midlife crises occur as a result of taking stock and assessing if one has set oneself up for a meaningful back half. Understandable if you've married a prick or you truly hate your career. But aging with gratitude and grace sets a wonderful model for our kids. My dad started an entirely new career in his 60s, and it's a great example. I don't want my daughter to feel like it's all over at 50. I love being my age, and I want her to know that I'll keep growing up, too!
Dratch: A lot of people I know seemed to care less about their careers when they hit midlife; they spent their 20s, 30s and 40s trying to achieve a goal. Once they reached it, or even if they didn't, they seemed to put more emphasis on family, relationships, spirituality.
Poehler: Get over yourself and live your one life as boldly and beautifully as you can.