On the Rocks Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Thirty-eight-year-old writer Laura (Rashida Jones) is a smart, beautiful, well-to-do woman who lives in a Manhattan apartment with husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) and two adorable daughters. It would seem that everything is very good in her life, so what more could you want? However, Laura feels that she is in some kind of crisis.

Firstly, she does not have a new book that the publisher ordered and for which Laura received an advance. Here it does not go – and that’s it! Secondly, Laura had a feeling that her marriage was starting to fall apart. No, outwardly everything seems to be fine: Dean is kind, caring, he is attentive to Laura and loves daughters, but he is constantly at work: he actively develops his company, he often needs to go on business trips to open new offices in different regions, and, Let’s be honest, Dean doesn’t show up at home all that often.

In addition, Dean’s personal assistant is a young beautiful woman, Fiona (Jessica Henwick), who accompanies Dean on business trips, and then, after her husband returns again, Laura finds in his suitcase … a women’s cosmetic bag belonging to Fiona. No, Dean, of course, explained – he was in a situation: Fiona was not allowed in with a cosmetic bag as hand luggage, so he was forced to put a cosmetic bag in his luggage.

All this, of course, looks very suspicious, but there is another very strange moment. When Dean returned from a business trip at night, slightly drugged by “Xanax” – he takes it on the plane to fall asleep – he went to bed, started kissing his wife, but when she spoke, he abruptly stopped these caresses: as if he had taken her before for some other woman.

Unable to carry all these suspicions in herself, Laura first calls her publisher, with whom they are close: she tries to calm her down, assuring her that Laura invented all this for herself. After that, Laura calls her father, 70-year-old Felix (Bill Murray), who at that moment is relaxing in Paris. Laura knows who to talk to about adultery: Felix is ​​a wealthy man who made his fortune in the art trade and has been a bon vivant womanizer all his life. Moreover, at the age of seventy, Felix never left the habit of trying to charm all the women around, regardless of their age.

Laura tells her father about her suspicions, and he immediately confirms her fears: yes, apparently, her husband started an affair. But we all need to check it out, Felix says, so I’ll be back in New York soon and we’ll put him under surveillance.

When Felix arrives in New York, he really develops a frenzy of spying on Dean, and he and Laura begin to spend a lot of time together.

***

The poster of this film, of course, was reminiscent of Sofia Coppola’s most famous film, Lost in Translation. In that film, the elderly actor Bob Harris, played by Bill Murray, accidentally met a young girl Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson) in Tokyo, and these two loneliness, yearning in a world completely unfamiliar and alien to them, began to spend time together.

The poster for the new film features Bill Murray, who looks like twenty years older Bob Harris, and actress Rashida Jones, who is twenty-five years younger than Murray, so she can basically symbolize a grown-up Charlotte.

God, I thought when I saw the poster, is it a remake of Lost in Translation? What for?

By the way, the original name On the rocks literally means “on the rocks” or “on the rocks”, and this is an idiom that has two meanings: the first is a married couple on the verge of divorce, the second is an alcoholic drink with ice (Yes, scotch on the rocks, please ).

But, of course, it turned out that this is not a remake of the old film at all. On the one hand, this is a picture that tells about quite traditional problems that many people have to face: relationships with a father who left the family early and with whom there was not enough communication in childhood and adolescence, problems in relationships in marriage, attempts to find out what happens to your spouse, well, figure out how to continue to live.

But, on the other hand, it is clearly seen that in this picture there is a lot of personal things for Sofia, because in the character of Bill Murray, although very allegorically, the father of Sofia Coppola is clearly guessed – the great Francis Ford Coppola. By the way, on the poster of the picture and in many scenes, Murray even ties a scarf in the same way as Francis, although he usually prefers more colorful colors.

However, for us, the audience, personal motives and all sorts of subtexts somehow don’t matter, because we don’t really understand it all, so let’s talk about what this film is.

He is very simple. Even defiantly simple. There are no deep and serious meanings here, and the plot, if you squeeze everything else out of it, is extremely simple and banal: the main character suspects her husband of cheating on her, her father helps to follow her husband, the heroine watches her father and understands that he, despite his age, has not changed at all, but that is exactly what she likes about him. Well, we note that in spying on a supposedly unfaithful husband, dad did not really help, but rather hurt, but since the father and daughter spent a lot of time together, this is good.

So-so storyline, right? Moreover, Sofia, for reasons unknown to me, did not at all want to finish this simple story normally, and she frankly merged the ending, in some way merged with the ending and the plot itself. (We will talk about this, as usual, at the end of the review under the spoiler.)

But this film is not at all good for the plot, which, in general, is practically non-existent here. Indeed, in “Lost in Translation” the plot also fit literally into a couple of lines about the meeting of two solitudes in a world alien to them.

Sofia Coppola is a director who skillfully knows how to convey a certain mood, create a certain atmosphere. It was in Lost in Translation, and it is in this film: it is very, very atmospheric and it is very good for that.

Murray is absolutely wonderful, and there, of course, the main charm of the film rests on him. His Felix is ​​a man who, even at a very advanced age, has not abandoned his bon vivant habits. In some ways, he is still incredibly charming, but in some ways he is somewhat ridiculous. At the same time, Felix is ​​defiantly politically incorrect in the conditions of the so-called “new ethics”. He makes sexist compliments, he flirts with young girls – in general, all of himself is such a harasser-rasharasser.

He doesn’t really understand Laura, but Sophia and the actors managed to convey very well how much Felix worries about her daughter and how concerned he is to still save her marriage – despite all his statements about the natural polygamy of any man! (“Polygamen is any male without exception,” Bublik reminded him, of course.)

Rashida Jones (by the way, I only found out when writing this review that she is the daughter of the legendary musician and composer Quincy Jones) is a good actress: charming, charismatic. With full-length cinematography, she still somehow does not develop particularly well: she plays mostly not very noticeable episodic roles. With serials, things are somewhat better – bright roles in The Office, Parks and Recreation, the main role in Angie Tribeca. And now – one of the main roles in the feature film.

I really liked the way she played. It is clear that it was quite difficult for her to play against the background of such a bright character as Bill Murray’s Felix, but Rashida was not at all lost next to him, and she made him an excellent on-screen couple: their relationship looked very sincere and touching. Let’s hope that, maybe, at least after this film, she will be allowed to turn around in significant roles.

Marlon Wayans, the star of a couple of well-known comedies of the nineties (he also played a completely atypical role for his image in the powerful drama “Requiem for a Dream”), was somewhat unexpected to see in the role of Dean. He played well, but here, according to the script, he had nowhere to turn around: he is not so much a bright character here as a function – Laura’s husband, who, presumably, is cheating on her, such a bastard.

Creating an appropriate atmosphere and mood is not only the merit of the actors. Here, from the staging and camera point of view, everything is done very well, and this also works great for the perception of the picture: how the filmmakers shoot New York, how they shoot the meetings of the characters in various interiors, what soundtrack this all accompanies. (By the way, the music for the film was written by the Phoenix band, whose frontman Thomas Mars is Sofia Coppola’s husband. And, by the way, Sofia and Thomas and their two daughters also live in Manhattan, as in this film.)

I really liked it, I looked with great pleasure. Bill Murray is great, Rashida Jones is very good, staged is excellent. And what leaked the ending – well, it happens. After all, I didn’t watch it because of the ending.

PS And now let’s talk about the ending.

It’s completely incomprehensible to me why Sofia made the ending so primitive: oh, Fiona, it turns out, is a lesbian, oh, Dean, it turns out, Laura loved so much that he ran away from a chic Mexican resort home, just to see his wife, oh, it turns out, a watch ” Cartier” he bought for his wife for her birthday (which, I note, he did not appear due to some regular business trip), but did not hand it in time, because there was not a single Savva Ignatich at hand who would quickly make an engraving!

Listen, but it’s so cheap and so primitive! And if such an ending is completely normal for some ordinary melodrama, then for Sofia Coppola it looks more than amazing! I don’t think that she was so indifferent to the plot and its development that she just wanted to chop it all off as quickly as possible – somehow it doesn’t look like her.

What was it? A signal to his father, Francis Ford Coppola, that, they say, “don’t worry, everything is fine with Thomas”?

All this is very surprising to me.

However, the cat Bagel suggested that it was just Dean who pulled off a cunning combination. He learned that he was being followed, and he took appropriate measures: he acted out a scene with Fiona the “lesbian”, quickly bought another Cartier watch, which he had previously bought for Fiona, engraved it and played a terribly loving husband.

Well, in general, the assumption is interesting, yes. It will be necessary to find out what Sofia Coppola thinks of him.

Yes, well, based on my rather rich life experience and the experience of many of my friends and girlfriends, I should notice that if you see various good signs that your spouse is cheating on you, then you don’t need to think “I figured everything out for myself (a) “Because it’s almost 100% true! So it’s better to understand this right away in order to decide what to do next with this situation.

There are, of course, cases when “everything is not as it seems” – on this subject there is a wonderful story by Kira Bulychev “Professor Kozarin’s Crown”) – however, the likelihood of this is extremely small. About one tenth of a percent.

Last straw / On the Rocks movie review

Director: Sofia Coppola Cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick, Jenny Slate, Liyanna Muskat, Alexandra Mary Reimer, Anna Chanel Reimer, Barbara Bain, Juliana Canfield

Tragicomedy, USA, 2020, 96 min.

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