4th November 2020

On The Rocks Review: Sofia Coppola’s Dad-Daughter Derailed Dramedy

On The Rocks(Apple  TV)

Starring  Bill Murray,Rashida Jones,Marlon Wayans

Written  & Directed  by Sofia  Coppola

Rating: ***

Being  Francis Ford(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 her actors 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  smartly 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 into the  role of an  over-possessive, charming ,  rakish rich-and-bratty Dad to Rashida Jones who suspects her  husband (Marol Wayans) might be  cheating on her.

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 Against her better judgment she calls her father who sets into  a motion of series sleuthing activities all over NY, some hilarious others 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 know 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.

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 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 act 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.

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