BARE BONES: ON THE ROCKS (2020)

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on the rocks

ON THE ROCKS (2020)

Indie comedy/drama finds author and married mother of two, Laura Keene (Rashida Jones) starting to feel something is off in her relationship with her successful, businessman husband Dean (Marlon Wayans). She turns to her playboy father Felix (Bill Murray) who hasn’t let being a grandfather get in the way of his philandering habits. Based on his own behavior, Felix suspects the worse, and so the two embark on an adventure to find out if Dean’s attentions are on business or pleasure.

Film is written and directed by Sofia Coppola, who has previously worked with Bill Murray in the wonderful Lost In Translation in 2003 and the Netflix holiday special A Very Murray Christmas in 2015. It starts off well enough, with some commentary on married couples falling into that mundane routine and losing sight of the romance they once had together. It also speaks about not losing one’s own sense of self when being a partner in a relationship and family. There is also Murray’s frisky and flirty Felix to remind us of not letting getting older age you and make you boring. Rashida Jones and Bill Murray have a wonderful chemistry together as the father and daughter and one wishes the script was stronger to support them. Much like Laura and Dean, after the first act honeymoon, the flick settles into a familiar and uninspired routine, with Felix constantly trying to prove Dean’s possible infidelities, while Laura follows along with his “investigation” hoping he is wrong. It sadly settles into an often tread pattern and loses it’s own identity that the first act set up so nicely. It should have been more about a woman rediscovering herself and that she doesn’t have to stop being herself, because of being a wife and mother. Instead it becomes an all too common “is my husband cheating” comedy/drama that we’ve seen countless times, as Felix and Laura go to embarrassing lengths to find out what Dean is up to. While still worth a look, the film ultimately wastes a wonderful pairing of talents whose delightful chemistry deserved better material.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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