Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, On the Rocks is a drama cum comedy starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones. Murray and Jones play Felix and Laura, father and daughter, caught up in a half-baked scheme to investigate Laura’s husband’s suspected infidelity.
Fact of the matter is that On the Rocks is neither an effective drama nor a funny comedy and I wished that it was one of the other as there is nothing dramatic or comedic about it at all. If not for Murray’s trademarked deadpan hijinks, On the Rocks would barely be interesting and might actually border on boring.
It starts out promising enough with a clear cut quest for Laura i.e. to find out if her husband is cheating on her. Especially when Dad Felix gets involved. But nothing exciting or funny really comes out of this father-daughter caper. What we are treated to instead is a vivid exercise in ‘how the other half lives’.
You see, Felix is a wealthy, retired art-dealer playboy and we get to witness his high flying lifestyle as he works to aid his seemingly hapless daughter. But what ensues instead is an examination of the duo’s relationship as there is lip service given to the shared troubled past over broken marriages and the like.
As written, there is precious little angst to explore in this relationship. Laura seems to be well-adjusted by all accounts, apart from a writer’s block issue and the alleged cheating of her husband. Rashida Jones does not really do much with the role, there is very little emotional resonance for the audience to hook onto with Laura’s character.
The lack of drama is mirrored by the absence of comedic moments as well. I mean, nobody’s asking for silly slapstick but Murray’s talents are somewhat wasted by the script – surely, the audience deserved a little more funny bone tickling? Lame plot overall is a severe letdown.
What is there to say about On the Rocks? A disappointing movie in the final analysis, especially when you consider the talent available. Watch it for Murray if you must.
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