On The Rocks, Film Review: Even A Polite Bill Murray Cannot Protect Sofia Coppola’s Average Comedy


The new Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks, now available on Apple TV+, appears like something she hurriedly wrote on a paper once, and then quickly forgot about it.  Why she chose to invest time and enthusiasm in the idea, possibly discovered during springtime cleansing, is what we must capture to the ground of.

The film is like many Sofia Coppola films as the title hints, about a wedding on the rocks.  Rashida Jones characterizes the filmmaker’s stand-in, a composer named Laura while Marlon Wayans plays her detached husband, Dean.


Watch the film’s trailer here –


They are rather tedious, honestly.  Neither is she the brave heroine that she assumes she is, nor is Dean the kind of disgraceful dude that the film would have us consider.  So when Laura begins speculating him of having an affair with his beautiful ‘business partner’, you care neither about her journey to uncover the truth, nor do you anticipate to be compensated when Dean is exposed.


The only pleasure that On the Rocks grants is the sight of Bill Murray — an actor which the excellent critic Roger Ebert once termed as ‘someone who can get a giggle by just standing there’.  He was just speechless in his portion as Laura is aging Lothario of a father, Felix.


Laura prefers to him for help after she starts fearing the wickedest.  Felix is in a state to get an impression inside the mind of a chauvinist pig, observing, as he is one himself.  However, why doesn’t she first inquire about the opinion of a friend or two?  It is due to the reason that she has none.


This would be a completely fine character feature in another movie.  Surely, there are many lonely people in the world, primarily the wedded women who do not get out much though the film never greets on this.  There is no evidence for why Laura, who seems like a delightful person capable of socializing, only ever considers her marital dilemmas with her father.  Especially if you acknowledge the fact, they have somewhat of a difficult relationship.


He is the kind of person who can pinch anthropological facts about sexuality into any discussion.  During a stakeout on which he causes caviar and crackers as snacks, he mansplains to Laura how women cannot endure onto their men, having in mind that no man is hardwired to outlast being monogamous.


Like Felix, it seems to accept that the weight of obligation always lies on the women to keep a relationship viable.  Men cannot be trusted at all.  So on numerous occasions, we see Laura hitting herself up for being skeptical of Dean.  The sexism has been so strongly instilled in her that she cannot understand for one second that Dean’s resolution to cheating need not certainly have anything to do with her.


On the Rocks is a curiously antiquated movie, not at all on par with the handful of contemporary classics that Coppola has made over the last decade or so.


There are, though, a couple of light sparks besides the Bill Murray show.  Jenny Slate arrives in a recurring cameo as an overly friendly acquaintance who gives Laura undesirable life updates about a man she had an event with during Hurricane Sandy, and a fantastic soundtrack starring Chet Faker and Phoenix, presenting possibly the only indication that On the Rocks is, in fact, a Sofia Coppola film.  It absolutely had no interest getting across as Woody Allen has forgotten leftovers.


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