On the Rocks; Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Bring Back Movie Magic. Grade: B+
2020 has been a year in which can provide us valuable lessons, especially not taking the simplest sweetest things that life has to offer for granted. For example: Watching the A24 logo pop up in a theater, as your anticipation for a new A24 film is now coming to reality. I haven’t seen that beautiful logo since Uncut Gems as of last year, but you can also count beginning of the year as I rewatched again in January. With First Cow’s theatrical release being pushed away as theaters were unable to reopen, as more A24 films have experienced delays in their theatrical releases... It’s been a rough life without seeing that beautiful logo.
But at last early October, the chance of reliving that beautiful experience of seeing that gorgeous A24 logo up on the big screens, has come alive once again. Thirty minutes away from my house, in the worst part of town... Maya Cinemas North was showing the new A24 film directed by Sofia Coppola: On the Rocks! Where one could just wait a couple weeks, as On the Rocks will be premiering on Apple TV Plus on the 23rd... I say FOOK THAT. Life isn’t worth living unless there is risk involved, as you damn right know I traveled thirty minutes to the worst part of town, in this grand gigantic theater, as I prepare on living the GOOD life by supporting an A24 film where they rightfully belong... IN A THEATER. If God wants me to die while partaking an A24 film in a theater, then BRING IT ON, that’s honestly the best way to go out. I rather continue to live life to the fullest where there is a chance that death maybe the outcome, than being scared of everything and not live life to the fullest as you restrict yourselves to the bare minimum... We weren’t created to just stay alive, we were created to LIVE! I’m not scared of death nor will I EVER let it prevent me the life I want to live, the same should be said for all of you. That’s how much A24 films shown in theaters means to me, I’m going to continue supporting them in a theater setting when given the slightest opportunity to do so. On a more sane note: Just be cautious and everything will be fine... Weirdos
On the Rocks tells a story about a married couple named Laura (Rashida Jones) and Dean (Marlon Wayans), as they live a happy marriage that consists of raising a couple kids. Laura has suspicion that Dean could be cheating on her with his business partner, as Laura feels Dean has been acting weird lately. Laura then reconnects with her father Felix (Bill Murray) whom perhaps is the coolest dad on the block, as Felix and his daughter go on an adventure to the crack the case if Dean is indeed faithful to Laura or not.
The Cinematography t’was pretty good, I like how this film looks, as it has some kind of classical vibe to it. The Score at hand was cool, complimenting the films classical vibe. The cast all in all I thought were pretty good as a whole. Rashida Jones and Bill Murray did an excellent job together as father and daughter, their chemistry together was top notch. This is by far the coolest father/daughter combo I’ve seen in awhile, as every scene with them is by far the best part of the entire film.
Laura like most women in relationships always assume the worst when it comes to their partner cheating, as if their partner is in any way acting particularly different than the usual... They always assume cheating, I don’t know why that is. So Laura reconnects with her cool dad Felix, as Felix is some kind of wizard, who knows some very important people that can help them with this situation. It’s by far goofy, but it’s a kind of goofy in which makes you smile as the adventures they partake in offers some of the coolest scenes. I enjoy both characters individually, as both have their ups and downs towards them.
Laura though a faithful wife, great mother, and great daughter does have a problem with trust issues. That’s because Laura’s father also had an affair with her mother, which brings clear influence to why she would feel her husband maybe doing something similar to her father. Felix though maybe the coolest cat around, does have an issue with commitment. I feel this is Sofia Coppola’s best work regarding how characters are written and developed since Lost in Translation, her writing and directing with these characters/actors is superb honestly. Though Marlon Wayans comes in and out in this film, as the film is more centered towards Bill and Rashida, I thought Marlon did a solid job as Dean. I like how Dean keeps the audience mind wide open, as you don’t know if Dean could be cheating or not, especially just by how smooth and slick he is personality wise.
I do have some flaws with On the Rocks. Regarding the character Felix, other than having recent work in having a top tier gallery... How does he have so many connections, with these high profile specialists?! I mean the things Felix can do especially in Laura’s situation is crazy, as the film doesn’t really show or tell you just how Felix acquire these connections. It’s also worth noting I didn’t care for when this film cut to scenes of Vanessa (Jenny Slate), she’s Laura’s friend who’s child goes to the same school as her own daughter. I felt these scenes were pretty rubbish, as they were trying to create some kind of comedic relief, but it comes off rather bland as you want the film to go back to Felix and Laura.
The thirty minute trip to see On the Rocks was DEFINITELY worth it, as I really enjoyed this film. As a comedic drama, I was really enjoying for what I was enduring. I felt the comedic material was well written, supplying us to some funny moments, especially with Bill Murray whom I felt did a really good job in that department. But it does offer a well written story that though taken on a fun lackadaisical approach, you’re still invested with our characters as you hope things shape up for the better, than the obvious worst thing. I was surprised by just entertaining this film was, these grand random adventures Felix and Laura go on were not only exciting, but just made you feel good as you feel entirely relaxed and enjoying it. What I felt was the most special thing about On the Rocks, was the fact Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, and most certainly Sofia Coppola were bringing out movie magic to the screen. It just feels reminiscent to what it was like to experience a movie on the big screens, as you forget your problems as you enjoy fun time with our characters at hand.
Overall, On the Rocks is a pretty damn good movie. I highly recommend checking this one out, if you can see it in a theater do so it’s definitely worth the trip, but shall be available on Apple TV Plus next Friday. Regarding my experience with Maya Cinemas North in Las Vegas... It’s a shame this theater has to be in the worst location possible in the city, because this is honestly the 2nd best theatrical experience in Las Vegas just behind Eclipse theaters. Highly recommend this theater as they do show indies rarely played anywhere else, though the area is whacked, the theater inside feels like you’re in heavens gates, GIGANTIC theater.-Mitch Smietana