“On the Rocks”
RELEASE DATE: October 2, 2020 (limited theatres);
October 23, 2020 (streaming)
MPAA RATING: R (some language and sexual references)
Writer/director Sofia Coppola and actor Bill Murray, who worked together in the 2003 film Lost in Translation, reteam here for On the Rocks. This slice-of-life offering has Murray portraying Felix, the father of Laura (Rashida Jones) as he becomes a sort of stealth Columbo investigating what he and his daughter believe are the indiscretions of her alleged philandering husband, Dean (Marlon Wayans).
On the Rocks is Coppola’s best work in years, both as writer and as director. And Murray is simply a joy to watch as he tries desperately to prove to his daughter that he is correct in his summation of his son-in-law. After all, it takes a philanderer to know one, and Felix has left behind more than his fair share of carnage of shattered relationships.
Jones delivers a likeable performance, and although Wayans is less convincing, that plays directly into the audience wondering “is he or isn’t he” cheating on his wife.
Without giving the plot away, this is a tight little story worth one’s time, again if for no reason other than enjoying Murray’s performance as father and grandfather as he clearly embraces this chapter of his life and career.
On the Rocks is somewhat of a misnomer since this film is straight up and neat.