New Age Therapy

Can the fantasy of Cocoon be fulfilled by a drug that fights the ravages of growing old?

IN THE 1985 FILM COCOON, THREE OLD codgers played by Don Ameche, Hume Cronyn and Wilford Brimley begin taking furtive dips in a secluded swimming pool next door to their Florida retirement home. The pool, being secretly used by space aliens to rejuvenate companions left behind on a previous expedition, turns out to be a veritable fountain of youth. The senior citizens suddenly come alive: their arthritis disappears; their cancers dissolve; they disco into the night and regain their sexual prowess. Asked a film reviewer: "Wouldn't it be wonderful if decay were so easily washed away?"

If the opinion of a...

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