‘On the Rocks’ review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Laura is not sure if her husband is dating one of his co-workers
My favourite film of all time is Sofia Coppola’s 2003 Academy Award winning film Lost in Translation. It got me interested in going to Tokyo with its shots of the city. Additionally, Coppola’s screenplay has moments that are smart and well-timed if you are patient. The film is also the beginning of her collaborations with Bill Murray; both of them would work together again in the 2015 Netflix Christmas special A Very Murray Christmas and on her next film On the Rocks—which was first a limited release and later made available to everyone on Apple TV+.
Rashida Jones, who was also in A Very Murray Christmas, is in the film as well. If you did not enjoy A Very Murray Christmas since it has Christmas-special-type moments, you may not enjoy the humour of On the Rocks—though older viewers will get some of Murray’s jokes throughout. Laura Keane (Rashida Jones) is happily married to Dean (Marlon Wayans) with their two children living in New York City. When Dean starts to get very successful at his job he begins working outside and seeing more people including women; thus, Laura is not sure if her husband is dating one of his co-workers. She asks her rich father, Felix (Bill Murray), to help her investigate in a search that leads to Laura questioning if her father is helping her to find out what Dean has been doing in his job recently. The film takes place through a period of a week and every day begins in a similar way, which can be repetitive.
It does have moments where a serious conversation is occurring and then, unexpectedly, something funny happens. We do see a lot of scenes that take place with Laura and Felix drinking martinis in a restaurant or a bar—and they are typically darkly lit. This style is seen frequently in Coppola’s modern films. There were a lot of beautiful shots of New York City throughout the film and some of them showed places that were also shown in A Very Murray Christmas.
Coppola’s use of the music of Phoenix in her films and her collaborations with the French band (who also did the score of the film) show that Coppola is a big fan. Because this film airs on Apple TV+, there is a lot of product placement of Apple products throughout the film where all of the people in the film use iPhones, Laura uses an iMac at work, and Coppola likely edited the film on a Mac. Compared to Lost in Translation, where Bob is a father figure to Charlotte, Felix is more like an investigator to Laura than a father figure.
Jones’ and Wayans’ acting in the film is great, and Wayans was surprisingly funny. On the Rocks is the father-and-daughter film that can be surprisingly funny if you are patient, and you may even get some of the jokes in it. On the Rocks is available now on Apple TV+.