Friday, July 25, 2014

And So It Goes Movie Review

Michael Douglas stars in And So It Goes

Douglas, Keaton Turn Dust to Gold

Michael Douglas didn't win two Academy Awards by accident: He's a darn good actor... so good in fact, he's able to single-handedly turn Rob Reiner's relatively predictable And So It Goes into something just short of comic gold. It's sappy at times, with a few holes here and there (i.e. Diane Keaton's singing) but you can't argue with having a good time, even if you feel guilty afterwards.

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: There are a million reasons not to like realtor Oren Little (Michael Douglas), and that's just the way he likes it. Willfully obnoxious to anyone who might cross his path, he wants nothing more than to sell one last house and retire in peace and quiet -- until his estranged son suddenly drops off a granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) he never knew existed and turns his life upside-down. Clueless about how to care for a sweet, abandoned nine-year-old, he pawns her off on his determined and lovable neighbor Leah (Diane Keaton) and tries to resume his life uninterrupted. But little by little, Oren stubbornly learns to open his heart - to his family, to Leah, and to life itself - in this uplifting comedy from acclaimed director Rob Reiner.

What’s Best: Oren is arrogant, insensitive, prickly and wonderful. That's right... wonderful! Like it or not, curmudgeons are often wildly entertaining; and Douglas puts the c-u-r-m-u-d-g-e-o-n-l-i-n-e-s-s in curmudgeonliness. Mouthfuls aside, Douglas is a joy to behold, even when he's being a jerk. Ditto for fellow Oscar-winner Keaton, who balances her co-star's crusty temperament perfectly (even if she does shed crocodile tears.) Together, Douglas & Keaton are practically unstoppable.

What’s Not: Those around him, seem to take particular delight in poking fun at Oren. Almost to the point of being unfair. Even his (former) drug addict son misses the boat by springing his grandchild (and a dog) on him at the very last minute. It doesn't justify Oren's behavior (at least not all of it) but leave it to me, to take his side. Other than that, I suppose it's easy to criticize Mark Andrus' story as being overtly simple. Oddly enough, that's one of the other reasons I liked it so much. Could it be... I'm getting softer as I get older? Hopefully not.

Best Line: Oren toys with his tormentors by suggesting, 'Complain to the manager' on several occasions; but I prefer his failed attempts at pillow talk, such as 'I've sold houses older than you, and in worse condition,' and 'Last time I had sex, I tore my ACL.' How could anyone resist such sweet nothings?

Overall: Summer is the perfect time to see a movie like And So It Goes, because let's face it... it won't be up for any Oscars next February. It's fairly harmless (it takes a few too many liberties with subtle racism) but there's lots to laugh at (including an unplanned baby delivery) and Douglas & Keaton marry well (no pun intended.) If it helps, my aunt Nessa loved it: Ring the 65+ recommendation bell. I've got the one for 45 already covered.