On the Rocks (2020)



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On the Rocks was written and directed by Sophia Coppola. She is once again working with a serious Bill Murray as Felix, a womanizing, well connected, eccentric, playboy, father. Felix’s daughter Laura is played by Rashida Jones. The film follows Laura down the rabbit hole of looking for evidence of an unfaithful partner. Her husband Dean, Marlon Wayans, is working on a startup and is away from home a lot.


Laura is a writer struggling to complete her next book, she is also happy to find distractions to take her away from writing. Her father, a mostly retired art dealer, is more than happy to distract his daughter from the boredom by leading them on a spy style chase of Dean. The surface-level story is looking for evidence of unfaithfulness. The movie is a study in adult children’s relationships with their parents and the struggles of being a good partner despite life’s effort to distance you.


I think comedic actors are some of the best. If you can be funny, then you can play anything. Bill Murray is a master, but Jones and Wayans are not far behind. The movie is touching at times and gives the viewer plenty of time for self-reflection. Felix has a level of flamboyance that balances the serious tones of the movie with enough tension easing humor. Some of the humor is derived from his constant pursuit of women.


On the Rocks is a fun 96-minute adult comedy. You can walk away from it with a smile on your face. You can also do some self-reflecting and talk to your partner about honesty and your relationship. Perhaps it is best for adult relationships with parents or vice versa. Retired parents may be lonely and seek attention in peculiar ways. It may just be a veiled attempt to remain a part of their children’s lives.

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