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‘On The Rocks’ (review)

Produced by Sofia Coppola, Youree Henley
Written and Directed by Sofia Coppola
Starring Bill Murray, Rashida Jones,
Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick,
Jenny Slate, Barbara Bain


Sofia Coppola’s new film is a slight one, so slight if you put it on pause you might forget you’re watching it.

It stars Rashida Jones as Laura, who begins to suspect that her frequently absent spouse Dean (Marlon Wayans) is having an affair with his pretty coworker Fiona (Jessica Henwick).

Enter her rich playboy father Felix (Bill Murray), who escalates her suspicions into a “tail the husband” misadventure.

Jones and Murray are both good here, but the film is so low-key it brings up more comparisons to The Dead Don’t Die than Lost in Translation.

Murray has fun with the character of Felix, who’s never met a woman he won’t hit on and says things like, “Women are like flowers. They’re all beautiful at any age. Even dried ones.” It’s a running joke that he knows everyone in town (and in London and any other city) and is forever pulling out his little black book with connections to aid in the Dean investigation.

And Felix knows about cheating, having left his family for a younger woman when Laura was a girl.

Her mother and sister have cut Felix out of their lives, but Laura, for some reason she’s not sure of, still relies on him.

Naturally, his year-ago abandonment comes up during their adventure, which has begun to feel more like an exercise in intrigue for him than a solution for her.

Their quest never quite rises to a laugh-out-loud moment, but this may have played to more laughs in a crowded theater.

Among the supporting cast, Jenny Slate is a standout as a cluelessly self-indulgent mom who regales Laura with her own problems instead of asking Laura about hers.

It’s not a chore to spend an hour and a half with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones, and their outings to posh New York City locations like the 21 Club are a soothing kind of virtual vacation during the pandemic.

But this cinema cocktail could have used a lot more fizz.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

On The Rocks is now streaming on Apple TV+
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