Director – Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Cast – Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans, Jenny Slate
Plot – Concerned that her husband Dean (Wayans) is having an affair, married New York mother Laura (Jones) enlists the help of her eccentric and dramatic father Felix (Murray) to help her uncover the truth about Dean’s activities.
“I’m just the buzzkill”
Review by Eddie on 09/11/2020
It might not be Lost in Translation or The Virgin Suicides but On the Rocks sees director Sofia Coppola return to some type of solid form as she uses the star power of her two leads to elevate a simple but effective story that will sit well with anyone not in a rush and anyone willing to be taken on a dreamlike ride through rich New York citizen’s lives.
After the misguided The Bling Ring and the so-so The Beguiled, Rocks is Coppola’s most enjoyable film since the lauded Somewhere way back in 2010, dialling things way back to a bare bones story that is deeper than one first expects, Coppola manages to create both a nicely observed father and daughter comedy and a rumination on love and marriage that will hit home with anyone that has been a part of a long term relationship with either partner or parent.
Following Rashida Jone’s struggling author and mother/wife Laura whose marriage to up and coming businessman Dean (a softly spoken Marlon Wayans) appears to be reaching a tipping point when it seems possible that he is enacting upon a hidden affair, with Laura seeking helping from Bill Murray as her father Felix, a man who has experience when it comes to matters of affairs, Rocks doesn’t attempt to rewrite any type of genre rule-book but thanks to its well-handled direction from Coppola and great chemistry between its two leads, this is a constantly delightful little romp.
After a few years of more supportive roles its great to see Jones used to great effect here by Coppola and her turn as the likeable and relatable Laura is one of her best lead turns that is joyously enhanced by Murray whose having the absolute time of his life as the extroverted Felix, a role that is extremely different to the last time we saw him in a Coppola film.
Many of the films best scenes are simple little slice of life moments between the father and daughter as they talk about life’s big issues, relationship matters or wine and dine across the well-filmed cityscape of New York and then the beach-side surrounds of a small Mexican hotel and as the two learn more about each other and come to terms with their flaws and vulnerabilities, Rocks touches on some heartfelt messaging that ensures this is a film that teaches us life lessons, even if we never feel as though they will stick with us too long after the credits have passed.
Final Say –
Never attempting anything of a grand nature or anything by way of outlandish delivery, On the Rocks is a quiet but effective dramedy from Sofia Coppola who also manages to draw out some of the best work of Murray and Jones in quite some time.
3 1/2 poker faces out of 5