On the Rocks – Movie Reviews by Ry!

On the Rocks – Love on Tap: Last Call … Together

Within a string of intertwining experiences, a person can live many lives.  In those uncertain times, there are glimpses of what was, is and can be.  The complexity of these things can be the foundation of any story driven medium, including film.  In this latest review, I look at life through the lens of a new story from writer/director Sofia Coppola.  Known for driving subtlety through characterization, this is another that gives you a path of strong acting with heavy dialogue.  Encased within simple storytelling of realistic marks, On the Rocks is an indie that shows how those strings of endearment define love and life.

When Laura (Rashida Jones) begins to see issues in her marriage, she seeks guidance from her father, Felix (Bill Murray).  Reconnecting after many years, they begin to understand the indifference in love.  Being a Sofia Coppola film, the basic outline is compounded within a few characters that string through subtle development of their relationships.  The focus of the film is on Laura, a young mother and wife trying to find balance in her life.  Her husband, Dean (Marlon Wayans), has recently gotten extensively busy with his new CEO role, while she is left alone to raise their two kids.  The balance of being a wife, mother and struggling writer contrives situations of what may or may not be happening (behind the scenes).  Through some convenient scenarios, she is led to believe her husband is having an affair when she contacts her father, Felix.  He is a man with his own hazy past, but sees this as an opportunity to reconnect with his daughter.  From this key incident, the story moves along a journey to find out the truth of Dean’s odd behavior.  The simple narrative provides a window of realism within general storytelling.  There is no overarching detail to stir up forced drama or emotional tension, the degree of progression is driven by familiar archetypes that develop over a series of conversations.  The main idea of the ‘affair’ drives the meaningful strife, moving the initial point of her marital problems to the budding connection between her and her father.  Seeing how Laura’s ‘everyday’ routine come in contrast to her father’s wild behavior brings an honesty that is genuine but revealing.  It showcases the flaws that blind from the obvious but compliments the renewed father/daughter dynamic.  There clashing brings out a revelation of smokescreens, foreshadowing this to come.

As the story moves along, the two get into random scenarios that drive the fervor of the dialogue.  The mixture of different places in New York City grounds the unorthodox interactions, helping build upon those flaws in both characters.  When everything comes to head, the revelations bring depth of the familiar, revealing what has been the real faults in all three characters (Laura, Dean and Felix).  This leads to climax of expositional truths, circling around to an endearing epilogue.  On the Rocks is an Indie that provides a lot of relative values in the familiar.  If you’re a fan of the actors, indie/dramas or the director’s previous work, this is one for you.  This is available on Apple TV Plus, but it would be a fun time at the theaters.         

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *