This review is brought to you by Kathy Kaiser
ON THE ROCKS – Rated R – 1 hr. 36 mins.
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Sofia Coppola
STARRING: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick and Jenny Slate
Have you ever found yourself floundering in your life and career? Have you ever found yourself in fear that your spouse is stepping out on you? Or have you cursed the day your “larger than life” father stepped up to help your through your trials and tribulations of life? Well, welcome to the premise of Sophia Coppola’s latest creation as both Writer and Director, as we meet Laura (Rashida Jones), the struggling Author and Mother of two, who finds herself immersed in writer’s block, as she struggles to pen out her next novel, and create the perfect life for her children all along the way too. And now, her workaholic hubby Dean (Marlon Wayons) is complicating matters, as he doesn’t really have much time for her, or their children, but who seems to be the “Energizer Bunny” when it comes to his focus and drive in his own career. So between Laura’s constant self-doubt, her annoying friend Vanessa’s (Jenny Slate) constant rambling about her own crisis daily, and the several glaring signs that she keeps getting, regarding all of those late night meetings and trips her hubby is taking with his co-worker Fiona (Jessica Hemwick), Laura is grappling on what to do in her life, in every direction. So, what’s a girl to do when in crisis, but to confide in her Daddy (Bill Murray), even though he himself is a total cad, as the suave and debonaire Art Dealer, and man about town, with a string of ladies himself along the way. Alas, Laura finds herself heading to her Father anyway, in hopes that he can provide her with some emotional support and guidance, but with knowing her Father, and his lifestyle, what is she thinking???
I give ON THE ROCKS a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN or WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON APPLE TV! On The Rocks is the perfect mix of a sometimes dramatic, sometimes comedic, and quirky sometimes too storyline, that will end up giving you the warm fuzzies by the time it’s through. Sofia Coppola has managed to put together the perfect cast for her newest creation, as she brings to life a film that feels as genuine as it gets, as it forces us all to face our own insecurities with life, career, and the importance of those “significant” relationships” in our lives. Coppola also manages to pull another exceptional performance from Murray, just as she did when they teamed up in 2003’s Lost In Translation, as he once again channels his narcissistic and comedic attributes the whole way through, only this time, with this role, it seems as if he is channeling more of his real-life fathering knowledge he has gained over the years, from his 6 sons, as the ‘fathering moments” this time around totally come shining through. Rashida Jones is perfectly suited opposite Murray, playing the daughter that needs her Daddy, although she knows that his own shortcomings always find a way to mess up her life, once she once again breaks down, and lets him back in. I also loved seeing Marlon Wayans take a more dramatic role this time too, and his contributions to this film are exceptional as well. ON THE ROCKS for me felt like “just what the Dr. ordered”, with all the uncertainty that has surrounded all of us throughout this awful 2020, as this film gives us a chance to focus on this not-exactly-perfect daughter and father relationship, and forget our own troubles for a while. I enjoyed ON THE ROCKS so much throughout, my only complaint of this fabulously heart-warming film, was that I wish it would have gone on a bit longer, than its short 1 hour and 36-minute runtime.
If you would like to catch this fabulous film on ‘THE BIG SCREEN, please visit Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac Cinema in St. Louis, or you can catch it on Apple TV starting 10/23