A young mother reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York.
Our movie opens with an introduction to Laura and Dean, the happily(?) married couple with kids. We witness a scene where they are at a party for Dean’s work, and Laura feels left out and not include.
He said ON THE ROCKS.
As we begin to understand, Dean travels a lot, and as we met with Laura’s father (Bill Murray), he is a ladies man as you could say, and as Laura describes the situation, he begins to be suspicious. Without Laura’s permission, Felix digs into Dean and his whereabouts, spending, and more.
One of the things that stood out to me the most was the relationship between a father and a daughter. This is something that isn’t depicted in movies a whole lot. We often see the polar opposite. The charming relationship between the two is the film’s life. While Felix is a playboy style of character, he was also an amazing father and Laura’s biggest fan, poetic to see on the screen. The way Sofia painted this beautiful relationship was heartwarming and endearing. She’s a storyteller with so much more than words, and she knows how to sell a relationship, and her ability to do it with this father/daughter combo was mesmerizing.
We transition to a stakeout with Laura and Felix. Felix is excited about this, he believes there is more than meets the eye, but his life isn’t as fun as it once was, so he utilizes this to spend time with his daughter and have fun.
Bill Murray is an absolute delight. He is quirky, witty, funny, and an absolute pleasure in this movie. In one scene in particular when they get pulled over, his fast-talking charm allows them to escape the situation. This is a gentle reminder that Murray is one of the best actors working.
Sofia Coppola knows how to entice the viewers into her world. From the beautiful New York City scenario to the gorgeous color palette to the backdrop’s heartwarming score, it’s a lovely welcome into her world, and I love it. Her camera work in this film is impeccable, but I loved her writing in this even more. If you look at the film’s broad scope, it’s somewhat like a whodunnit style crime caper in a way, and if you’ve seen it, you are probably like, what are you talking about, Ricky? Think for a second, we have a detective doing background work to solve the case, and he recruits his daughter (who is curious about what’s happening) to the case to solve the mystery. The viewing experienced will be enhanced if you look in this way, I promise.
Finally, we get to the film’s culmination, which I believe is some of Sofia’s best work because we have so many ways this film could go. She chooses this particular moment to teach us a lesson to understand that relationships work even better with communication. It was a touching and heartfelt end to a beautiful story.
I have a strong love for Sofia’s work, and while this may not be her best work, I believe this is one of my favorite screenplays she has ever written. It’s a tale of a father and a daughter and how beautiful a relationship between the two can elevate both individuals as human beings.
On The Rocks is an absolute delight from start to finish.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.