Being Francis Fod (Godfather) Coppola’s daughter isn’t easy. Sofia Coppola has carved a niche for herself as the architect of an edgy quirky cinema with some great actors doing unexpected things in her films. In On The Rocks, her latest, it isn’t the actress but the director Sofia Coppola who is doing the unexpected.
On The Rocks is her most blithe-spirited comedy in years. Light to the touch, feelingly rendered and smarly executed until the last act derails the dainty drama completely. Ms Coppola’s favourite actor Bill Murray (they worked wonders together in Lost In Translation) steps in the role of an over-possessive, charming , rakish rich-and-bratty Dad to Rashida Jones who suspects her husband (Maro Wayans) might be cheating on her.
Against her better judgment she calls her father who sets into motion a series of sleuthing activities all over NY, some hilarious ohers embarrassing. At one point Murray asks his daughter to check her husband’s text messages to see if there’s anything incriminating with the suspected Other Woman. When she sees nothing, Murray muses, “That’s really suspicious. They work together and not a single message?”
At one point a cop who stops Murray for speeding is rendered putty in his hands when Murray reveals he knows the cop’s dad. We know this guy knows how to press the right buttons. What we don’t know till the end is that he’ll be punished for it.
Soon, attempts to nail down the husband begin to get repetitive and I found myself more taken up with the details of Laura’s life—the way she puts her daughters to sleep, her one-sided conversations with a friend who gabs on and on about her love life—than with the question of whether her husband is unfaithful?
The final revelation topples Murray’s dad from a heroic height to that of a nosy, over-intrusive parent who doesn’t know where to draw the line. It’s a disappointing send-off to Murray's character which is built up in an impressive way, only to dismantle it at the end. Still, there is more chemistry between father and daughter than between the husband and wife. And that’s a good thing. Because we really don’t care about the marriage as much as we do about the bonding between father and daughter.
I'll go with 3 stars.
Image Source: Imdb , youtube/a24
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