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When an elderly widow, newly arrived in a retirement facility, encounters her long forsaken true love, she confronts head-on the complications of his early onset dementia and wins back his heart.
When seventy-something widow, Cynthia Baker, transitions to the sprawling Happy Valley Retreat for Positive Aging in Miami, the trepidation accompanying her sea-change is alleviated when she hits it off with the ebullient Felix Sebastian. But the budding relationship is tested when she encounters a ghost from back in her long-ago – Black American Denzel Mosé, her "rare black pearl". Not good karma, for back then a heart was surely broken.
Suspecting serious history, Felix takes a back seat. But when Cynthia tries to ease back into his Denzel’s life, her former lover remains aloof. Seeking comfort from daughter Hermione – and a wine or two – she reveals her aborted romance with Denzel in the 1970s, and her eventual marriage of convenience to another she didn’t love. It’s Denzel she truly loved, still loves and, damn it all, she resolves to win him back.
She persists and convinces Denzel there’s no harm resurrecting some of their youthful rebellious times ... resulting in the seniors physically consummating their renewed accord. Freshening up in his bathroom, Cynthia notices a post-it sticker: “take meds”; in his medicine cabinet, an array of prescribed medications. Good breeding prevents her probing further, but as a coda to their “afternoon delight”, they commit to dinner that night.
She waits for her date – but he’s a no-show. She can't contact him. She fronts the restaurant, assuming he’s there. But instead, she encounters Felix who suspects that, rather than a case of crossed wires, it's more likely a case of “wires no longer connected” – not the first time Denzel’s commitments have gone awry.
Question marks are raised. Serious soul searching ensues, and when Cynthia, biting the bullet, confronts Denzel and declares her undying love for him, regardless of his shortcomings, his own true feelings for her are re-kindled.
Unfortunately, not only does his mind wander, so too does his driving, and following a raft of traffic violations, Denzel ends up in a police cell, awaiting bail. And while the cops just want Denzel off the road, Cynthia now has real concerns about his mental disposition.
She approaches Happy Valley’s resident physician, Doc Martini, who concedes the symptoms she describes indicate dementia, but only Denzel’s immediate family can be privy to his medical info. Only one course of action then! Revisiting the site where, in 1972, Cynthia rebuffed Denzel’s marriage proposal under pressure from her racially prejudiced parents, she now proposes to him. With his broken heart now assuaged, he accepts.
However, following another driving misadventure, this time with Felix in preparation for the wedding, Denzel again finds himself in lock-up – with his best man. Cynthia pleads their case and following negotiations and compromises, the miscreants are released to attend to an important agenda …
And while the wedding goes as well as could be expected, with the newlyweds set to embark on a honeymoon cruise, a big-time relapse sees Denzel losing it completely. And the vessel sails off without them ...
This is their Kismet, Cynthia and Denzel seeing out their days together, sailing the eternally placid waters of the Happy Valley Retreat for Positive Aging, until death they do part.