There's another program on TV tonight about "love in the eighties." But this time it's 80s the age , not '80s the decade (which is the focus of ABC's "thirtysomething").
And this half-hour is inspiring, moving and amusing enough to rate at least 80 on a scale of 100.
"Young at Heart" (11 p.m., Channel 28) is an award-winning documentary about two widowed octogenarians, Reva Shwayder and Louis Gothelf, who fell in love during a group vacation to England in 1984. When producer-directors Sue Marx and Pamela Conn began to film the romance, Shwayder and Gothelf were "living together." During production, the pair decided to marry, and Marx and Conn cap the 30 minutes with portions of the ceremony.
Actually, "Young at Heart" might have been just as fine a film if Shwayder and Gothelf had just been friends--for, while the romance is touching, it's the vibrant personalities of the two subjects that make the documentary tick. These Detroiters are funny, sharp, if occasionally testy people who've avoided many of the mind-traps older people can fall into.
It certainly seems no accident that both are painters and just as interested in their art as when younger. The fact that she loves abstract art and painting flowers while he's a portrait-painting traditionalist doesn't get in the way much--it simply results in some lively but respectful arguments when the lovebirds take a stroll through an art museum, or he tries to talk her into modeling for him.