Cinema Clash Podcast: The Climb, Come Away

Quickie Review: On the Rocks

On the Rocks is a mellow, totally forgettable yet easy enough to watch father-daughter relationship dramedy written and directed by Sofia Coppola. It stars Bill Murray as Felix, a charming, larger-than-life philanderer who helps his daughter Laura (Rashida Jones) investigate whether her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her. After all, who better than Felix to know the tricks of the infidelity trade?

Their adventure takes them to parties and hot spots across New York – and into Mexico – where they spy on Dean from afar, while taking deeper stock of their own relationship. The question of whether Dean is cheating – or simply working overtime – is secondary. It’s hard to get too invested in Laura and Dean’s outcome without knowing more about their history as a couple raising two cute little girls. All the standard cliches are firmly planted from the get-go: Dean is working long hours, traveling a lot with an attractive business partner, and doesn’t seem all that interested in… you know. But are these signs really signs, or is Laura filtering everything through the lens of someone who grew up with a dad who ditched his wife for a new younger model?

On the Rocks is dialogue-driven and bittersweet, with a distinctly Coppola vibe (The Beguiled, Lost in Translation). It’s graced with fine performances, including an underwritten role for Jenny Slate who pops in and out with moments of self-absorbed comic relief in the school pickup line. But while the film looks good and goes down smooth, it could leave you hungry for something with a bit more substance.

On the Rocks starts streaming on Apple TV+ on October 23.

 

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