From the director of Lost in Translation and Apple TV+ comes On the Rocks. This comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola. A young New York mother faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father to tail her husband. What follows is a sparkling comic adventure across the city – drawing father and daughter closer together despite one detour after another. Laura thinks she’s happily hitched, but when her husband Dean 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, 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.
In mid November 2018, it was announced that Apple had entered into a multi-year agreement with entertainment company A24 to produce a slate of original films in partnership with their worldwide video unit. In mid January 2019, it was announced that the first film produced under that partnership would be a film entitled On the Rocks with Coppola as writer and director, and with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones attached to star. By June 2019, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick, Jenny Slate, and Barbara Bain rounded out the film's cast. At the same time, principal photography commenced and took place in New York City.
The film. stars Jones, Murray, Wayans, Henwick, Slate, and Bain. Murray, playing an extension of himself, fills the role with ease, and Jones is right in step with him. So far as the central relationship goes, the film is almost European in its subtlety and nuance.
Like her Academy Award-winning film, Lost in Translation, Coppola creates a beautiful-looking film with depth and texture, along with a couple of outstanding performances from its lead actors. Coppola's latest film (following the aforementioned film as well as Somewhere) is another exploration of delicate relationships and uncommunicated frustrations, this one in a beautifully composed atmosphere of isolation. Depicts a very specific mental state too shaded and delicate for most movies to feel comfortable approaching it. A relationship picture with elegant connective tissue; it's brittle and real, focused on the nuances of body language and unspoken desire, while indulging in a cheeky bit of knowing absurdity when the mood strikes. The film revels in contradictions. It's a comedy about melancholy, a romance without consummation, a travelogue that rarely hits the road. Very much a mood piece, the film's deft balance of humor and poignancy makes it both a pleasurable and melancholy experience. Transcends its initial culture clash comic riffs to evolve into something altogether more moving by the end. As a result, it's a work of considerable power and pathos. The intensity of the film lies in its smaller, seemingly insignificant, quieter moments. In many ways Coppola's film exhibits marks of classic European art cinema.
Simon says On the Rocks receives:
Also, see my review for The Beguiled.