On The Rocks: The Most Bill Murray

On The Rocks is a comedy drama film directed by Sofia Coppola. The plot follows Laura (Rashida Jones), a woman going into midlife who begins to think that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans), might be cheating on her. She recruits her philandering father Felix (Bill Murray), to help her get some answers: the investigation is on.

This might be the most Bill Murray film ever made, if you have ever seen any of Murray’s films or are a fan of him generally then you will know what I mean. The eccentricities that normally colour Murray’s various performances are turned up to eleven here, resulting in a glorious performance.

The film has a lot to say about aging gracefully, finding new drive in life, and asking for forgiveness all of which are touched on and beautifully developed over the course of the narrative. The relationship between Laura and her father, who left when she was young after cheating on her mum, is strained and turbulent and their arc together is beautifully resolved.

My two complaints with this film are both of a similar vein. This film is far more into the drama aspect then it is the comedy aspect of its premise. Yes, it has a few jokes and comedic situations, but the drama and the comments on life take centre stage. As a result of that we see more of Jones’ dramatic chops which are strong, but we don’t get to see much of her comedic side. Which is a real shame as Jones can be and has been very funny in things in the past before, sadly here she is playing the straight woman to a zany Murray. Moreover, Jenny Slate also features in this film, more as a recurring bit than a characters, and is also underused.

Overall, not a film that is going to set the world on fire, but a very enjoyable film with a surprisingly large amount to say.

Pros.

Bill Murray

Marlon Wayans

Rashida Jones (In a dramatic sense)

The comments on life and parent child bonds

Cons.

It doesn’t let Jones be funny

It underutilised Jenny Slate

4/5

Reviewed by Luke    

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