On the Rocks

On The Rocks

A young mother reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York.

Sofia Coppola’s latest film, ‘On the Rocks’, is an enjoyable comedy-drama that reunites the director with her ‘Lost in Translation’ star Bill Murray. Set in New York, the film is about two relationships, firstly the one between Laura (Rashida Jones) and her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans), and secondly the one between Laura and her father Felix (Bill Murray). The start of the film shows Laura and Dean’s honeymoon, but in the present day they’ve settled into domestic life with a family, with Laura a stay at home mother, and Dean working long hours as he starts to become a successful businessman. Laura suspects all is not as it seems with Dean’s working pattern, and when she confides in her father, the two start to carry out their own investigations.

I really liked ‘On the Rocks’ and found it to be a charming and relatable look at modern relationships and the doubts and anxieties that can plague our minds at times. Rashida Jones and Bill Murray have good chemistry and I like that the film uses the framework of a modern relationship to pivot to Laura’s relationship with her father, a bit of a playboy who may know a thing or two about what men can get up to in their spare time. I did have some problems with the way things play out with Laura’s suspicions, although Coppola does seed enough clues to explain away Dean’s actions and behaviour. It initially goes in hard on making Dean the bad guy only to redeem him in the last act, and I felt Coppola was trying too hard to have it both ways – the justification for Laura’s behaviour, yet the feel good ending, and it only serves to make Laura appear paranoid, which I’m not sure I was comfortable with. That being said, it provided the opportunity for lots of time with the great Bill Murray and he’s as witty and engaging as he’s been in years, with Jones an excellent foil for his comedic style.

On the Rocks’ is funny, charming and it made me smile a lot, and I thought it was an excellent movie, with the added bonus of seeing a pre-pandemic New York look as wonderful as always on the big screen.

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick, Jenny Slate and Barbara Bain


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