Synopsis: Laura (Rashida Jones) thinks she’s happily hitched, but when her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) starts logging late hours at the office with a new co-worker, Laura begins to fear the worst. She turns to the one man she suspects may have insight: her charming, impulsive father Felix (Bill Murray), who insists they investigate the situation. As the two begin prowling New York at night, careening from uptown parties to downtown hotspots, they discover at the heart of their journey lies their own relationship.
What We Thought:
Overall I enjoyed On The Rocks, but it’s most likely because of its lead actors Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. The story itself we’ve seen before and because of that it felt flat at times. There’s nothing overly new or original to the film, but that doesn’t mean it’s not something I’d watch again.
I’m a big fan of both leads. Sure a character like this Murray (no relation) can do in his sleep, but that’s why his old womanizer is so funny. I’d guess a lot of the dialogue Murray changed or improvised because his character comes across as very Bill Murray-esque. Jones to me is an underrated comedic actress. I enjoyed her work on Parks and Recreation and seem to like her in everything she does. As a wife/mom in this, she nails the character’s struggle of trying to write and being the mom/wife she feels she should be.
I guess my biggest complaint is the story. Jones thinks her husband (Marlon Wayans) might be having an affair with his co-worker. Murray plays her father and being the womanizer he is, he automatically thinks his son-in-law is dirty as well so he devises ways to try to catch him. Despite knowing better, Jones follows along with Murray and of course it doesn’t go the way it should.
The pair bond and fight together and they come across very much as family. They have great chemistry and are very easy to watch together. Unfortunately you can kind of guess that their adventures will go sideways or that Murray’s character will go too far. It wants to be a sophisticated rom-com, but relies on a lot of rom-com tropes. Yes I know they play father and daughter, but the film still plays as a romantic comedy in ways. He flirts with every woman he sees. She still wants to be with her husband, but thinks she sees red flags in their marriage. It’s a classier version of The Other Woman and movies like that.
My review of On The Rocks probably sounds more negative than I mean. It’s only 97 minutes long so it doesn’t wander too much which helps. I like the leads, I like the characters, I just wish the story brought something new or different to the table. Overall I did enjoy it and it’s something I can see myself watching again later on, I just wish it had something else to it.
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Written by: Sofia Coppola
Produced by: Youree Henley, Sofia Coppola
Starring: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans
October 2, 2020 (Select theaters around the world)
October 23, 2020 (Globally on Apple TV+)
Running Time: 97 minutes