Laura (Rashida Jones) is a young mother who is currently married with two daughters. On her wedding day everything seemed perfect, but in the present day things have changed when it comes to Laura and her husband. Laura begins to suspect that her husband Dean (Marlon Waynes) is cheating on her due to some of his suspicious activities and things Laura finds around her own home. Laura is so saddened by the possibility and she is now so distracted she cannot even focus to do her work as a book writer.
Feeling upset, worried, and concerned, Laura decides to speak with her father, Felix (Bill Murray). Based on what Laura tells him Felix is confident that her husband is cheating and decides that he and Laura need to team up and try to catch her husband red-handed. You see Felix is a bit of a playboy himself and claims he is quite experienced when it comes to matters such as this.
The father and daughter will now conduct stakeouts and even hire people to photograph some of Dean’s moments. Naturally, Felix gets quite excited as he will be given more time to spend with his daughter, but he is also concerned that Laura’s marriage could be coming to an end. Is Laura’s husband cheating? And can the father and daughter duo prove it?
The performance by Bill Murray is sensational. He is easily the biggest highlight of this film. Whenever Bill Murray is on screen, I found myself enjoying the film a whole lot more. It’s not just because he’s a man full of humour, but I also feel he is the most real character in the movie. To my surprise he also manages to bring lots of heartfelt moments as all he wants to do is spoil his own daughter and help her in every way he can.
The chemistry between Bill Murray and Rashida Jones I thought was also excellent. Everything they do together on screen comes across quite convincing as father and daughter. The dialogue they share is also great and I enjoyed how the two characters would sometimes get off topic and discuss random life matters which is generally done to lighten the film’s mood.
Thanks to director Sofia Coppola, I am happy to say this is a well-directed film. The visuals are positive. I also enjoyed many elements of her style including the shots of New York where our leads are located for the majority of the film.
On The Rocks, for the most part, is generally pleasing with only a couple of elements which hold it back. Sadly, I felt the film’s third and final act is extremely rushed and certain key plot points which were mentioned during this act were ignored and skimmed over. Another element I felt while reviewing this film is how this type of plot might frustrate some viewers. Watching a woman and her father continue to make theories about if a man is cheating or not could have been resolved a lot easier if a mature conversation were had, but obviously that would be less fun to watch. I understand what the filmmaker and writers are wanting to achieve but it is certainly a factor I could not ignore.
Overall, On The Rocks is simply a lovely film about a father and daughter investigating if a man is cheating and enjoying spending quality time together while doing so. Bill Murray is sensational and is easily the biggest praise point for this film. The movie is filled with humour, heartfelt moments, and a pleasing filming style. It is rather enjoyable as a film with only a couple of minor issues including the film’s rushed ending. Nevertheless, director Sofia Coppola has delivered yet again another beautiful and touching feature film to the big screen.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden