By Jennifer Harrington

If you could take a pill and live for 500 years, would you do it?  Mark Wexler’s new documentary, How to Live Forever, which chronicles how we might delay, or even defeat death, is centered on this thought-provoking question.  As I sat and watched the screening of this new documentary, I couldn’t help but wonder what this meant for relationships and marriage.  After all, 500 years is an awful long time to be with one person.  Would this miracle pill allow women an extension on fertility, giving us the ability to really have it all – a career, family and children?

Though the documentary didn’t answer those questions, it did introduce us to a colorful cast of characters, including 94-year-old exercise guru Jack LaLanne (who passed away earlier this year) and 101-year-old chain-smoking, beer-drinking marathoner Buster Martin.

Each senior citizen profiled challenged the stereotypical notion of youth and what truly gives life meaning.  Celebrities Suzanne Somers (who declared she would like to reach the age of 100, or even 120!) and Phyllis Diller made cameos to share their tips on finding the fountain of youth.

Everyone in the film had a variety of opinions regarding how to live a long life, and each had something that got them out of bed every day.  The passions of those profiled in How to Live Forever varied from kite flying, to fishing, to martinis (Eleanor Wasson, profiled in the film, is the author of the book 28,000 Martinis and Counting).

However, there were two stories that made a lasting impression:

First was the story of an 80-year-old woman, who not only competed in the Ms. Senior America beauty pageant, but was preparing to become a bride for the first time.  Her message centered around being receptive to finding love at any age.  It was a good reminder that it’s often the simple things in life (love, family and laughter) that contribute most to a long and happy life.

The second was the story of a Japanese adult movie star who is featured in films with his long-time wife.  His universal message focused on romance and intimacy being important in keeping us “young at heart.”

Director Mark Wexler commented on the common thread that linked each person in his documentary and said, “These were people who’d lived through turbulent times and faced great adversity, yet no matter where they were or what their background, they all shared remarkable grace, humor and resilience.”

Interestingly, most of the people profiled in the documentary said they would decline the opportunity to live 500 years, if given the choice.

Cupid wants to know: If you could live for 500 years, would you stay with the same person or have multiple marriages?

For more, check out How to Live Forever on May 13, or visit the documentary’s page on Facebook.

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