"On the Rocks" is so satisfyingly simple, that it just might be one of the most delicious films of the year.
Laura (Rashida Jones) is a deeply insecure young mother who from the outside-looking-in, seems to have a great life. She has beautiful, loving children, and is married to Dean (Marlon Wayans), a thoughtful, ambitious husband. The only real drawback seems to be her husband's travel schedule...work has him gone most of the time, leaving Laura to her own thoughts quite often, or dealing with the drama from some of her teacher friends (Jenny Slate) at work.
That's when her father, Felix (Bill Murray), enters the picture and starts to stir things up. They weren't necessarily estranged, but Felix - a successful art curator, social butterfly and aging playboy - was never really around. When he does push to reconnect with his daughter, he gets it in her head that Dean is DEFINITELY cheating on her with a pretty co-worker (Jessica Henwick). With Dean gone most of the time, only popping in between trips, Laura begins hanging out with her father more and more, and in doing so her paranoia grows deeper and deeper.
This is writer/director Sofia Coppola's second collaboration with Bill Murray (2003's "Lost in Translation"), and now has directed two of his very best performances. Murray is charming, quirky and funny but he also is able to portray deep sadness and vulnerability. All are on display in "On the Rocks." Rashida Jones too, continues to show her range as not only a funny comedian, but as a talented actress. Putting the two together and swishing them around for a bit renders a spirited cocktail.
Best of all, Coppola has well-established herself as skillful in bringing out the best in her actors. This simple yet unpredictable story plays to Murray's and Jones's strengths, and she manages to avoid any dull moments at all, even while creating meaningful small ones again and again.
Coppola has shown with her past work an interest in human connection, and "on the Rocks" tells a marriage story through the lens of a father and daughter's relationships with one another. The viewer begins to see the connections and parallels in Laura's life, and the genesis of her insecurities, deeply rooted in her relationship with her father...yet none of this is ever explicitly stated on film.
Serving up one more pun, "On the Rocks" is filled to the brim with meaning and purpose, with a smooth finish that will leave you feeling warm inside.
Genre: Comedy, Drama.
Run Time: 1 hour 36 minutes.
Starring: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Jenny Slate, Jessica Henwick.
Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola ("The Beguiled," "The Bling Ring," "Somewhere," "Marie Antoinette," "Lost in Translation").
"On the Rocks" is available on Apple TV+ on Friday, October 23rd, 2020.
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