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Review: Bill Murray charms in Sofia Coppola's father-daughter drama 'On the Rocks'

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(L-R) Rashida Jones, Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola's "On the Rocks" (Photo: a24/Apple)

On the Rocks
4 out of 5 Stars
Director:
Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Rated: R for some language/sexual references

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Laura is worried about her marriage. Felix, her freewheeling father, isn’t helping the situation.

Review: I’m naturally inclined to enjoy a Sofia Coppola film. I’ve never tried to pin down why. Maybe it’s the karaoke scene in “Lost in Translation.” So, I look forward to whatever she might have on her mind. Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to be a character in one of her films. For a moment I thought that I’d like to be Felix (Bill Murray), a charming father with an ample amount of money and an endless list of adventures to be had.

The problem is that underneath his smile, Felix is incredibly flawed. He’s selfish, chauvinistic and unreliable. No, I don’t think I’d like to be Felix at all. Still, its hard not to like Felix. Murray takes the cynicism of the character and somehow makes everything he says sound strangely hopeful.

So, when his daughter Laura (Rashida Jones) reveals that she’s concerned that her husband might be cheating on her, Felix seems excited by the prospect. In his mind, the disintegration of a marriage would the better escapade. A story that he could tell over cocktails.

Laura is of a different mind. She doesn’t want the upheaval that an affair will introduce into her and her children’s lives. Still, Felix’s enthusiasm is contagious. Laura can’t help but be swept up into his theories. Felix might know what he is talking about considering his extensive history of cheating.

I love the relationship between Laura and Felix. It’s incredibly messy, but there’s a sense of genuine love. The father-daughter chemistry of Jones and Murray is fantastic. I could spend a night listening to them converse. His fantasy world that revolves around him and her grounded nature that quietly cuts through his bravado.

Its also a beautifully shot film. I didn’t realize that Coppola had reteamed with “The Beguiled” cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd (who also did Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster”). French group Phoenix, who also provided the score for “The Beguiled” and “Somewhere,” are back as well.

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“On the Rocks” is playing in select theaters and will land on Apple TV+ on October 23, 2020.


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