A breezy, often witty but unsubstantial analog to her Somewhere and an ode to Manhattan even with a Mexican interlude is Sofia Coppola’s semi-autobiographical new dramedy.
Her double-entendre of a film On The Rocks might also appear to be like her Tokyo-based Lost in Translation were Bill Murray’s celebrity was in a mid-life crisis while filming a whiskey commercial and secured an Oscar not opposite Scarlett Johansson with affection for a character that was much more than deadpan appeal.
This time the daughter of Francis Ford looks at a disappointed, frustrated, and suspicious about forty daughter, Rashida Jones’ Laura, opposite her bon vivant incorrigible, wealthy art dealer dad (Felix Murray). In a way that happens upon buddy drollness and relational angst.
Felix is far from his philandering ways and he has had Laura’s hubby Dean (a mostly gentile Marlon Wayans) followed before she wants him to see if the venture entrepreneur might be up to no good with an attractive, younger colleague. You see, Felix hasn’t fared well with his blocked writing daughter since leaving her mother.
A little of Martin Scorsese’s After Hours comes into play as harried mother Laura and up for fun Felix with his binoculars and vintage Alfa Romeo hit a familial nerve in their sleuthing mission. A highlight includes an encounter with law enforcement that shows Felix in his inveigling glory.
The acidic banter reaches locales like 21 and Bemelmans Bar as many scenes have decidedly dim look to them as the past, including monogamy and trust, rears its occasionally ugly head. Murray’s comedic aplomb and nature fares well in the compatibility with Coppola to open up to the flaws of those not as close as you would hope they could be. But, there’s even an amusing cuteness to how Felix shares his feelings.