On the Rocks

By Joanna Langfield

Sweet and frothy, this likeable re-meet of Bill Murray and Sophia Coppola goes down easy.

I loved Lost in Translation. On the Rocks is no Lost in Translation. But maybe that’s okay. Why can’t Coppola take a spin at something on the light side, even when this father/daughter love story does dip into some darker moments? What’s wrong with taking a cinematic peek at a wealthy thirty-something who’s on the verge of flirting with disaster, either, possibly, to be ably assisted or bailed out by her bon vivant dad? As told by this more than capable filmmaker, there’s not much wrong and there’s also quite a bit that’s delightfully right.

Rashida Jones does a very nice job as the wife and mother whose husband seems to be constantly traveling with his very glamorous co-worker. But it’s Murray, who’s just the best in his delicious role of the almost celebrity father, who steals the whole thing. Sensing a way in to his daughter’s life, this somewhat estranged man encourages the girl he loves to check out just what’s going on here and, by the way, dad is more than happy to lend a gilded hand, as well, it seems, as more than a dollar.

There may be some who decry the wealth on display here, but why shouldn’t we have room in our modern day story telling for movies about rich people’s problems? As we note the matter-of-fact interracial cast, we also get to see some amazing apartments, great art and to-die-for cars. And while we’re never really hit over the head with the lessons of the loving frustrations of parental love, they’re there, reminding us that even international playboys have a beating heart buried inside all that fun.